The Future Of Planet Earth Part II

by Jimmy Swaggart



Part II
The Future Of Planet Earth

As we have said in the above notes, Israel is likened by Christ to the ‘fig tree.’ He then said, ‘When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves . . .(Mat 24:32 KJV).

THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

Now learn a Parable of the fig tree (the Bible presents three trees, the fig, the olive, and the vine, as representing the Nation of Israel, nationally, spiritually, and dispensationally); When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves (is meant to serve as the illustration of Israel nationally), you know that summer is near (refers to Israel as the greatest Prophetic Sign of all, telling us that we are now living in the last of the Last Days); “So likewise you (points to the modern church), when you shall see all these things (which we are now seeing as it regards Israel), know that it is near, even at the doors (the fulfillment of End-time Prophecies). “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass (the generation of Jews which will be alive at the beginning of the Great Tribulation; as well, it was a prediction by Christ that irrespective of the problems that Israel would face, even from His Day, they would survive), till all these things be fulfilled (there is no doubt, they will be fulfilled). “Heaven and Earth shall pass away (doesn’t refer to annihilation, but rather a change from one condition or state to another), but My Words shall not pass away (what the Word of God says, will be!). “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the Angels of Heaven, but My Father only” (Mat 24:32-36 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

Verse 36 plainly tells us that no man should try to put a date on the Rapture of the Church or even the events here as it regards the Second Coming. When the Great Tribulation begins, which will commence when the Antichrist signs the seven-year agreement with Israel and the Muslim world, then it will be possible to tell what is going to happen simply because it is amply illustrated in the Book of Revelation. In other words, we know that the Battle of Armageddon will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation and that Jesus Christ will come back during that Battle. But as to exactly when all of this takes place, we do not now know; however, we do have a clue.

As we have said in the above notes, Israel is likened by Christ to the “fig tree.” He then said, “When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves . . .(Mat 24:32 KJV). All of this pertains to Israel once again becoming a Nation in 1948 and of her troubles and difficulties, which have followed that time, even unto the present. As previously stated, Israel is God’s Prophetic Time Clock. In other words, if we want to know how late it is, we need only look at Israel.

This tells us that it is very late. The Dispensation of the Church is about at an end. This will be followed by the Great Tribulation, which Tribulation will pertain to the whole world, but, more than all, to Israel.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD AND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS

Daniel, the great Prophet/Statesman, gave us insight into the spirit world, as it regards nations and empires, as no other. Paul mentioned it but didn’t go into any detail at all. To set the stage, we’ll address Paul first.

PAUL THE APOSTLE

He said, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12 KJV).

We know that the fallen Angels were originally holy and righteous before God and remained that way until their fall. However, we have no clue in the Word of God, at least of substantial note, which tells us of the origin of demons.

There are four designations listed in this Scripture.

They are:

1. PRINCIPALITIES:

The Greek word for “principalities” is “Archas,

And means: “powerful fallen angels who threw in their lot with Lucifer at the revolution ages past.

2. POWERS:

The Greek word for “powers” is “exousias,”

Which means “authorities, those who derive their power from and execute the will of the chief rulers.

In other words, they answer to the “Principalities,” who answer to Satan. These “Principalities” concern themselves with particular areas of the Earth, over which they have control. The “Powers” are the fallen Angels who carry out that control. In other words, they are the “authorities in the spirit realm,” who bring about the desired results of Satan, with the responsibility entrusted to the “Principalities.”

3.RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD:” these are those who carry out the instructions of the “Powers.”

The Greek word for “rulers” is “kosmokrapopas,” 

Which speaks of “spirit world-rulers(Dan 10:13-21 KJV; Eph 1:21 KJV; Eph 6:12 KJV; Col 1:16-18 KJV).

These are “Rulers” under the “Powers,” who, as stated, are under the “Principalities,” who are under “Satan.

4.SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES:” this refers to demon spirits.

The Greek words are, “pneumatika ponerias,

 Which means, “that of the wicked spirits of Satan,” i.e., “demon spirits.

The words “high places” do not refer to Heaven or heavenly places, but rather the lower heavens, the lower atmosphere surrounding this Earth. That’s what the Holy Spirit through Paul is speaking about when he referred to Satan as “. . . the prince of the power of the air . . .” (Eph 2:2 KJV).

As we have stated, the other three designations are fallen Angels, while the last designation refers exclusively to demon spirits. We know that the fallen Angels were originally holy and righteous before God and remained that way until their fall. However, we have no clue in the Word of God, at least of substantial note, which tells us of the origin of demons. This we do know, God did not originally create them in this fashion.

PRE-ADAMITE CREATION

Some scholars believe they were inhabitants of this Earth before the fall of Lucifer (not the Fall of Adam and Eve), and that they threw in their lot with Lucifer at the time of his rebellion against God. While I make no claims at being a Bible scholar, I, as well, do subscribe to this interpretation. As a result, this creation, whatever it was, became disembodied, thereby, seeking a body to inhabit, before they will be eternally consigned to the Lake of Fire.

Satan rules his kingdom of darkness on this Earth (and it is confined to this Earth), through these four designations. Human beings have no contact with fallen Angels, except possibly with Satan himself; however, the entirety of the human race has contact with demon spirits constantly. In fact, all unbelievers are controlled more or less by demon spirits, with some actually being possessed.

Paul’s Ministry was not so much Prophecy as it was the meaning of the New Covenant, which is the meaning of the Cross.

FALLEN ANGELS AND DEMON SPIRITS

All Christians face these spirits of darkness (demons) constantly, even as Paul is explaining here. While he mentions all four designations, the first three (fallen Angels) are involved in the carrying out of the plans of Satan, with, it seems, demon spirits alone making direct contact with human beings.

In fact, there is no mention of fallen Angels, except Satan, in the Ministry of Christ or in the Acts of the Apostles respecting the Early Church. It was all with demon spirits, even as it is presently. It seems that the fallen Angels under Satan formulate the stratagems and plans respecting the kingdom of darkness in its opposition against Believers. However, it seems that they do not involve themselves directly with humans, that being the task of demon spirits (Dan 10:13, 20 KJV).

DANIEL’S VISION

Insight into the spirit world, which Daniel here portrays to us, is amazing indeed! In a sense, this is what the Apostle Paul was speaking of, although he did not go into any detail. Paul’s Ministry was not so much Prophecy as it was the meaning of the New Covenant, which is the meaning of the Cross. As it regards Daniel, he was given a greater insight into End-time events, which will affect the entirety of the world, but more so Israel, than any other Prophet.

We will pick it up in  the middle of a Vision given to Daniel by the Lord. Even though the Scripture at this point does not particularly state such, it is almost certain that this was the Angel Gabriel speaking to Daniel.

The Scripture says: “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words. (‘For from the first day,’ speaks of his petition to God and his effort to understand God’s Purpose concerning His People. Then God commissioned Gabriel to come to him.“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the Chief Princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (‘The prince of the kingdom of Persia,’ refers to an evil Angel appointed by Satan to control the Persian government, which, of course, was done without the knowledge of its earthly king. This Passage appears to reveal that Satan places an agent in charge of every nation [fallen Angel]; and, if so, this may explain national hatreds and national movements. “Similarly, God has His Angelic Agents operating in opposition to Satan’s. The conflict of Eph., Chpt. 6, to which we have briefly alluded, and the Battle of Rev., Chpt. 12, harmonize with this supposition.)”

SUBJECT OF THE VISION

“Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days: for yet the Vision is for many days. (‘What shall befall your people,’ refers solely to the Jews [Rev 9:24 KJV; Rev 12:1 KJV]. Therefore, the Gentile nations are included, but only as they affect Israel, and only as Israel is ensconced in her land and offering sacrifices in the Temple; in fact, this Temple will soon be built.“And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. (Quite possibly, the many times mentioned concerning the Vision being fulfilled in the ‘latter days’ is because Daniel may have thought that these things would happen shortly, with Israel ultimately being restored to her place and position of power and supremacy; however, that was not the case.“And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said unto Him Who stood before me, O my Lord, by the Vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I  ave retained no strength. (Quite possibly, this was Christ, because Daniel addressed Him as ‘O my Lord!’“For how can the servant of this my Lord talk with this my Lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. (The implication is that it is not the Vision alone causing the physical weakness, but rather the very Presence of Christ.) “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto you, be strong, yes, be strong. And when He had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my Lord speak; for You have strengthened me. (It seems that this is the Lord in a pre-incarnate appearance, actually speaking to Daniel.)

‘It is the same presently, with fallen Angels controlling entire nations [Eph. 6:12].)’”

THE PRINCE OF GRECIA

“Then said He, Know you wherefore I come unto you? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. (It seems that now Gabriel once again picks up the conversation. ‘And now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia,’ did not mean that he would leave immediately, but, when the Vision was completed, he would resume the conflict with this satanic prince. “‘And when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come,’ refers to Gabriel ultimately being successful in this conflict, allowing the satanic prince to bring in the Grecian Empire. This would take place less than 200 years in the future. “The ‘prince of Grecia’ is not an earthly prince, but, instead, a fallen Angel working under the direct instructions of Satan, who would control the Grecian Empire when it did come into being. It was this evil prince which helped Alexander the Great conquer the known world of that day, although without his knowledge. This ‘prince’ is now confined to the underworld, but will be released in the last days in order to help the Antichrist [Rev 7:8-14 KJV]. “It is the same presently, with fallen Angels controlling entire nations [Eph 6:12 KJV].)

MICHAEL AND GABRIEL

“But I will show you that which is noted in the Scripture of Truth: and there is none who holds with me in these things, but Michael your prince. (‘The Scripture of Truth’ refers to the dream originally given to Nebuchadnezzar [Dan 2:39 KJV], which showed these empires, as well as the two Visions already given to Daniel, as noted in Dan 7:5-6 KJV and Dan 8:3-8 KJV. ‘And there is none who holds with me in these things, but Michael your prince,’ denotes the truth that as these fallen Angels reigned supreme over certain empires, Michael served in the same position over Israel and, in fact, still does!)” (Dan 10:12-21 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

The following is extremely important simply because it deals with the fallen Angel who helped Alexander the Great, and who will help the Antichrist when he takes power, which will be in the near future.

FROM THE PERSIAN EMPIRE TO ALEXANDER’S DEATH

True, were it not for the Second Coming, man would eventually succeed in destroying himself and, actually, the entirety of the Planet.

“Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. (‘I stood to confirm and to strengthen him,’ refers to Michael the Archangel helping Gabriel as it regards the conflict in question. We see from all this that force has to be used to remove certain satanic rulers [fallen Angels] regarding particular nations, so that another fallen Angel can take their place, even as it was with the Grecian Empire taking over the Medo-Persian Empire. All of this happens in the spirit world and is unseen with the natural eye; however, the effects can definitely be felt. “All of this tells us that there is always conflict in Satan’s kingdom, which is here made obvious.)”

THE MIGHTY KING

“And now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. (These three Persian kings were Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius I. The fourth was Xerxes, who fulfilled this Verse according to riches. Actually, there were six Persian kings after the four mentioned in this Verse; however, the conflict against Greece began with Xerxes, who Gabriel said would ‘stir up all against the realm of Grecia.’“And a mighty king shall stand up, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. (This pertains to Alexander the Great, who gained the throne when he was only 19 years old.“And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those. (‘And when he shall stand up,’ means when he was at the height of his power, and refers to Alexander the Great. ‘His kingdom shall be broken,’ has to do with his sudden death at 32 years old, and to the breaking up of the Grecian Empire into four divisions, which were taken over by four of his generals. ‘And not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled,’ speaks of his son, who should have gotten the throne, but did not. It must be remembered that these Prophecies were given by Daniel nearly 200 years before they actually came to pass)” (Dan. 11:1-4 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

THAT WHICH WILL HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE CONCERNING PLANET EARTH

In fact, despite what many say or think, and despite some bad days, very bad days, which are coming shortly ahead, still, the future of this Planet is glorious. The great Prophet Habakkuk said: “For the Earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (This Passage is very similar to what Isaiah said in 11:9 of his Book. As the Lord answers Habakkuk, His Statements, although alluding to coming Babylon, rather uses Babylon to symbolize the world as a whole without God. However, the Holy Spirit proclaims: ‘For the Earth shall be filled,’ not with injustice, murder, greed, avarice, hate, or oppression, but instead ‘with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD.’ This will take place in the coming Millennium, beginning immediately after the Second Coming of Christ)” (Hab 2:14 KJV).

Of course, at this time, the Lord Jesus Christ will be reigning Personally from Jerusalem and will, in fact, be the President, so to speak, of the entirety of the Earth. Actually, He is referred to as, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev 19:16 KJV).

True, were it not for the Second Coming, man would eventually succeed in destroying himself and, actually, the entirety of the Planet. But, the Lord most definitely will intervene and will do so with Power and Glory such as the world has never previously known.

He came the first time as a lowly Shepherd, so to speak, and was beaten, lampooned, caricatured, and ultimately crucified. When He comes back the second time, which will be without sin unto Salvation, meaning that the sin debt was paid at Calvary and that He is now coming to save the world, it will be with a Power and Glory such as the world has never known before.

In other words, He will show the Antichrist and all the world, for that matter, just Who He really is and what He can really do. That’s when Israel will accept Him as Saviour, as Lord, and as Messiah. Then they will realize that this One Who has come to their rescue is, in fact, the same One they crucified those long years before.

At that time, there will be no favoured nations, and other nations, which are in abject poverty.

THE KINGDOM AGE

The Kingdom Age, sometimes called the Millennial Reign, will be 1,000 years in duration (Rev 20:4 KJV). It will be a time of prosperity, peace, freedom, and happiness for the entirety of the world. It will not be a time when a few have everything, and most have nothing. It will be a time of plenty, and more than plenty, for everyone. At that time, there will be no favoured nations, and other nations, which are in abject poverty. All will be in abundance.

In fact, Isaiah said that: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. (Chapter 34 of Isaiah, which was the first part of this Prophecy, proclaims the cause of all sorrow, pain, heartache, and destruction, which is sin and man’s rebellion against God, which will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ; Chapter 35 of Isaiah, which contains the concluding part of the Prophecy, portrays what God can do in a heart and life that is yielded to Him. As the spiritual renewal takes place in hearts and lives, the material, economic, domestic, and physical renewal will take place over the entirety of the Earth as well.)”

THE GLORY OF THE LORD

“It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the Glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. (‘The Glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God’ is the cause of the ‘abundant blossoming’ and the ‘rejoicing even with joy and singing.’“Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. (With these exceeding great and precious Promises, the servants of Truth are commanded to strengthen trembling and apprehensive Believers. With the ‘Glory of the LORD’ now paramount, even the ‘weak’ gain ‘strength,’ and ‘feeble knees’ are no longer so). “Say to them who are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. (This Passage expresses again the Doctrine of the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As well, this Verse points to the period predicted in 2 Pet 3:10 KJV and Rev 19:11-21 KJV. However, we greatly shortchange the Scriptures if we limit this Passage only to the Second Coming of Christ. Its words are pointed at every Child of God in every period. “The sentence, ‘He will come and save you,’ actually says, ‘He will come Himself to save you.’ There is One Alone Who can save, and He must do it Himself; to do it, He must ‘come’ to us.)

HEALING

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. (Verses 5 and 6 had a fulfillment in the Messiah’s First Advent, but their moral and plenary fulfillment belong to His Second and future Advent. Christ did not work miracles in His First Advent as mere wonders, but because it was predicted here that when He came, He would work miracles of this nature; hence, His performing these particular miracles proved Him to be the predicted Messiah. But His rejection postponed to the future the wonders and blessings of this entire Chapter.“Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. (The entire complexion of that future Glad Day [the Millennium] will be changed. Sickness and disease will be at an end. ‘Then’ the ‘lame man’ will not only be able to walk, but will have such freedom of movement that he will be able to ‘leap as an hart.’ ‘Then’ the ‘bound tongue’ will not only be able to speak, but ‘sing,’ as well! “However, in the spiritual sense, this has even a greater meaning! Due to the Fall, men have been ‘spiritually lame’ as well as ‘spiritually dumb.’ ‘Then’ all such will ‘dance in the Spirit’ and ‘sing His Praises’! “Due to the Fall, the world is a ‘wilderness.’ But at that time, the ‘waters’ and ‘streams,’ signifying the
Holy Spirit, will make the ‘desert blossom as the rose’)” (Isa 35:1-6 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

NO MORE WAR

Of course, after the Kingdom Age will come the eternal age, which will be without end.

Some years ago, I read an article stating that the world was spending three million dollars a minute on weapons of war. That’s 180 million dollars an hour, translating into over four billion dollars a day, translating into approximately one and a half trillion dollars a year.

Think as to what that could do if it were put to rightful use, which it will be in the coming Kingdom Age. Concerning Christ and that coming time, Isaiah wrote, “And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isa 2:4 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

That means that West Point will go out of business; Sandhurst in England will go out of business; and, St. Cyr in France will shut its doors. These are some of the greatest war colleges in the world, and they will be no more.

CONDITIONS DURING THE MILLENNIUM

Read the following very carefully and feel assured that it’s going to come to pass exactly as predicted. The great Prophet said: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (The character and nature of the Planet, including its occupants and even the animal creation, will revert to their posture as before the Fall.) “And the cow and the bear shall feed (feed together); their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (This Passage plainly tells us that the carnivorous nature of the animal kingdom will be totally and eternally changed.) “And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. (Even though some of the curse will remain on the serpent in the Millennium, in that he continues to writhe in the dust, still, the deadly part will be removed [Gen 3:14 KJV])” (Isa 11:6-8 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

EZEKIEL

The great Prophet Ezekiel tells us in his Book of the building of the Millennial Temple in Jerusalem. He tells us that out from under the threshold, which will be out from under the door leading into the Temple, there will flow a river, with part of it going to the Dead Sea, which will no longer be dead, and part toward the Mediterranean. On both sides of this river, which will run approximately 60 miles, the Prophet said: “And by the River upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side (both sides), shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the Sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (Ezekiel is shown the purpose of these miracle trees which grow on either side of these Rivers. These ‘trees’ shall perpetually bring forth new fruit because they are nourished by waters issuing from the Sanctuary. The fruit will heal as well as nourish. Such is the character of a Life and Ministry based upon Calvary and energized by the Holy Spirit. “In fact, the population of the world [which will include all, with the exception of the Glorified Saintswill continue to live perpetually by the means of the ‘fruit’ and the ‘leaf’ of these trees. In other words, the ageing process at a certain point will be halted. Of course, as it should be understood, Glorified Saints will not need such)” (Ezek 47:12 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible.

The evidence is that these trees will bear fruit 12 months out of the year, with that fruit and their leaves transported all over the world, which will guarantee an abundance for all. The “fruit” and the “leaves” will not so much heal sickness as it will prevent sickness. This means that there really won’t be any sickness in the coming Kingdom Age, neither any poverty, neither any war, etc. That’s when the “knowledge of the Word of the Lord shall cover the Earth as the waters cover the sea.”

Of course, after the Kingdom Age will come the eternal age, which will be without end. At that time, God will transfer His Headquarters from Planet Heaven, so to speak, down to Planet Earth, where He will abide with men forever and forever. Chapters 21 and 22 of the great Book of Revelation give us the information concerning this coming eternal time.

That is the future of Planet Earth, and, to be sure, we have only scratched the surface. Let me say it again, admittedly, the world would be completely destroyed were it not for the Second Coming of our Lord, but, to be sure and to be certain, He is coming back.

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, ““ARMAGEDDON””.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.
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The Future Of Planet Earth Part I

by Jimmy Swaggart



Part I
The Future Of Planet Earth

‘(When man fell, Creation fell! when man shall be delivered, Creation will be delivered, as well, and is expressed in the word “also”).’”

Some of the prognosticators do not speak very positively at all concerning the future of this Planet. Some claim that global warming is going to take a deadly toll. Others say that the opposite will happen, and I refer to another so-called Ice Age. And then, we have the climate conditions, which, in the recent past, have been worse than have ever been recorded. While there have always been storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc., the frequency and ferocity of that, which is presently happening, has taken it to a new level.

What is happening?

The Apostle Paul, after a fashion, addressed this situation. 

THE EARNEST EXPECTATION OF THE CREATION

He said: “For the earnest expectation of the creature (should have been translated, ‘for the earnest expectation of the Creation’) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God (pertains to the coming Resurrection of Life). “For the creature (Creation) was made subject to vanity (Adam’s Fall signalled the fall of Creation), not willingly (the Creation did not sin, even as such cannot sin, but became subject to the result of sin, which is death), but by reason of Him Who has subjected the same in Hope (speaks of God as the One Who passed sentence because of Adam’s Fall but, at the same time, gave us a ‘Hope’; that ‘Hope’ is Christ, Who will rectify all things), “Because the creature (Creation) itself also shall be delivered (presents this ‘Hope’ as effecting that Deliverance, which He did by the Crossfrom the bondage of corruption (speaks of mortality, i.e., ‘death’) into the glorious liberty of the Children of God (when man fell, Creation fell! when man shall be delivered, Creation will be delivered, as well, and is expressed in the word ‘also’).”

THE GROANING OF CREATION

For we know that the whole Creation (everything has been affected by Satan’s rebellion and Adam’s Fall) groans and travails in pain together until now (refers to the common longing of the elements of the Creation to be brought back to their original perfection).”

WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION

And not only they (the Creation and all it entails), but ourselves also (refers to Believers), who have the First-fruits of the Spirit (even though Jesus addressed every single thing lost in the Fall at the Cross, we only have a part of that possession now, with the balance coming at the Resurrection), even we ourselves groan within ourselves (proclaims the obvious fact that all Jesus paid for in the Atonement has not yet been fully realized), waiting for the Adoption (should be translated, ‘waiting for the fulfillment of the process, which Adoption into the Family of God guarantees’), to wit, the Redemption of our body (the glorifying of our physical body that will take place at the Resurrection)” (Rom 8:19-23 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

TWO REASONS FOR THE CLIMATE DISTURBANCES

My contention is, if preachers would once again begin to preach the Cross, which is the only thing that holds back the Judgement of God, this, I believe, would greatly lessen the climate disturbances.

There are two major reasons, I believe, for the increase in climate disturbances, which have wreaked havoc over great parts of the Planet. It has nothing to do with El Nino or other similarities.

The two reasons are “failure to preach the Cross” and “the last of the last days”: 

FAILURE TO PREACH THE CROSS

The Cross of Christ is God’s Answer to the sin question, and God’s only Answer to the sin question.

Paul wrote: “But this Man (this Priest, Christ Jesus), after He had offered One Sacrifice for sins forever (speaks of the Cross), sat down on the Right Hand of God (refers to the great contrast with the Priests under the Levitical system, who never sat down because their work was never completed; the Work of Christ was a ‘Finished Work,’ and needed no repetition); “From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His Footstool. (These enemies are Satan and all fallen Angels and demon spirits, plus all who follow Satan)” (Heb 10:12-13 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

The major message preached by the Apostle Paul was the Cross (1 Cor 1:23 KJV). He was given the meaning of the New Covenant, which is the Cross of Christ, and was made the master-builder of the Church by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Cross of Christ was the Foundation of all that he preached. If it’s not the foundation of all that we preach presently, then whatever it is we are preaching may be about the Gospel, but it’s really not the Gospel.

Paul told us what the Gospel actually is by saying: “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect (1 Cor 1:17 KJV).

My contention is, if preachers would once again begin to preach the Cross, which is the only thing that holds back the Judgement of God, this, I believe, would greatly lessen the climate disturbances. While it certainly would not end them altogether, I do believe it would have a very positive effect in the frequency and the ferocity. But yet, I do not labour under any illusion that this is going to be done. Hopeful, yes! But that’s about as far as I can go.

Please note the following:

• The Cross of Christ is the only thing standing between mankind and eternal Hell.

• The Cross of Christ is the only thing standing between the Church and apostasy.

• The Cross of Christ is the only thing that holds back the Judgement of God.

Were it not for the Cross, God could not even look at us, much less, have communion with us. It is the Cross which opened up the way to the very Throne of God.

However, there is a transition between the Church Age and the coming Kingdom Age called the ‘Great Tribulation.’”

Please note the following very carefully:

II Samuel, Chapter 24, records David’s sin in taking a national census in an unscriptural way.

Without going into detail, the Scripture says: “So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even until the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men (2 Sam 24:15 KJV). As would be obvious, this was a staggering number of men who died instantly, especially considering how small that Israel actually was.

Then the Scripture says, “And when the Angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented Him of the evil, and said to the Angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now your hand. And the Angel of the LORD was by the threshing-place of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam 24:16 KJV).

But then, the Lord sent Gad the Prophet to David: “. . . and said unto him, Go up, rear an Altar unto the LORD in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite (the only answer for sin, and I mean the only answer, is the ‘Altar,’ i.e., ‘the Cross,’ of which the Altar was a Type)” (2 Sam 24:18 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

And then the Scripture said: “And David built there an Altar unto the LORD, and offered Burnt Offerings and Peace Offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (There is a ‘plague’ called ‘sin’ that is destroying this world and causing multiple hundreds of millions to be eternally lost. There’s only one cure for that plague, and that is the precious, atoning, Vicarious Offering of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which was done at the Cross, and our acceptance of Him. All the churches in the world will never stay the ‘plague.’ All the good works, good intentions, money, religion, prestige, or education will not stop this plague of sin. Only the precious Blood of Jesus Christ can, here symbolized by the ‘Altar’ – ‘and the plague was stayed’)” (2 Sam 24:25 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

Let me say it again!

If preachers would begin to preach the Cross, this “plague,” if not stopped altogether, would be seriously slowed in this nation, and even the entirety of the world. 

Preach the Cross!

THE LAST OF THE LAST DAYS

We have already alluded to the following but please allow me to explain it further. When Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, the Creation, in some way, fell also. Of course, such is inanimate, but, still, it means that the Creation doesn’t function as God originally intended for it to function. That’s the reason for all the tornadoes, earthquakes, famines, droughts, hurricanes, etc. In a sense, all of this means that “. . . the whole Creation groans and travails in pain together until now(Rom 8:22 KJV).

In the coming Kingdom Age when things will have been set right, there will be no more storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.

The inclement weather patterns that the world is now experiencing, which means an increase, as previously stated, in frequency and intensity, is a sign that we are nearing the end. This doesn’t mean the end of the world because the world will never end, but it does mean the end of the Church Age, which will usher in the coming Kingdom Age when Christ will rule Personally from Jerusalem.

However, there is a transition between the Church Age and the coming Kingdom Age called the “Great Tribulation.” This period of time, which will run seven or more years, will experience a convulsion such as it has never known before in all of its history.

As it regards this particular period of time, Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation (the last three and one half years of the seven-year period), such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (the worst the world has ever known, and will be so bad that it will never be repeated). “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (refers to Israel coming close to extinction): but for the elect’s (Israel’s) sake those days shall be shortened (by the Second Coming)” (Mat 24:21-22 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

‘And every mountain and island were moved out of their places.’

In fact, during the seven-year Great Tribulation, climate conditions are going to be worse than ever. There will be earthquakes that will be greater and more destructive than the world has ever previously known. 

Concerning this, the Scripture says: “And I beheld when He (Christ) had opened the sixth Seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake (the first of several); and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair (probably caused by dust filling the air due to the earthquake), and the moon became as blood (doesn’t mean the moon was actually turned to blood, but that it ‘became as blood,’ again, probably referring to the dust particles filling the air); “And the stars of Heaven fell unto the earth (refers to meteorites or shooting stars), even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (There will be a bombardment on the earth of these meteorites, which will cause untold damage.“And the Heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together (pertains to the shaking of the heavens, which instigates the meteorites); and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (This proclaims power of unimagined proportions. The greater thrust will more than likely be in the Middle East)” (Rev 6:12-14 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

The Scripture then says: “And the Angel took the Censer, and filled it with fire of the Altar (this is the Brazen Altar in Heaven that typified the Death of our Lord, which was necessary in order that man might be redeemed; as is obvious here, Heaven is filled with the portrayal of that Sacrificial, Atoning Death), and cast it into the earth (with the Salvation of the Cross being rejected by the Earth, the Judgement of the Cross will now commence): and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. (All of this speaks of the fact that it is Judgement coming, and Judgement such as the world has never seen before)” (Rev 8:5 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

And the same hour was there a great earthquake (this is one of five times that earthquakes are mentioned; it is the last one that will take place and happens under the seventh Vial, which is at the very conclusion of the Great Tribulation), and the tenth part of the city fell (refers to Jerusalem), and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave Glory to the God of Heaven. (There is some indication in the Greek Text that some of these people gave their hearts to Christ)” (Rev 11:13 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

If it is to be remembered, our Lord predicted that earthquakes and other similar things would happen to a greater degree as the end approaches, and more particularly, in the coming Great Tribulation, as we’ve already noted (Luke 21:11 KJV).

One must understand, to refuse the King, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, is, at the same time, to refuse the Kingdom.

DANIEL

Daniel, the Prophet/Statesman, some 500 years before Christ, predicted that the Great Tribulation would last for seven years, with the last three and a half years being the worst.

He said: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (‘And he shall confirm,’ refers to the Antichrist. The phrase, ‘And in the midst of the week,’ refers to three and a half years, at which time the Antichrist will show his true colours and stop the sacrifices in the newly-built Temple. At that time, he will actually invade Israel, with her suffering her first military defeat since her formation as a Nation in 1948. “‘Even until the consummation,’ means until the end of the seven-year Great Tribulation period. The phrase, ‘And that determined shall be poured upon the desolate,’ refers to all the Prophecies being fulfilled regarding the great suffering that Israel will go through the last three and a half years of the Great Tribulation [Mat 24:21-22 KJV])” (Dan 9:27 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

ISRAEL’S REJECTION OF CHRIST

When Israel rejected Christ at His First Advent, this consigned the entirety of this Planet to now some 2,000 years of continued wars, troubles, and disturbances. John the Baptist, who was the forerunner of Christ, actually, the one chosen to introduce Christ, and who was the first Prophet in Israel in some 400 years, began his ministry “. . . preaching in the wilderness of Judaea; “And saying, Repent you: for the Kingdom of Heaven (Kingdom from the Heavens, headed up by Jesus Christ) is at hand (was being offered to Israel). “For this is he (John the Baptist) who was spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the Way of the LORD, make His Paths straight ([Isa 40:3 KJV])(Mat 3:1-3 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

As stated, John preceded Christ by a few months. When Jesus came, His Message was basically the same: “. . . Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (the Kingdom from Heaven, headed up by Christ, for the purpose of reestablishing the Kingdom of God over the Earth; the Kingdom was rejected by Israel)” (Mat 4:17 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

In other words, the Kingdom was offered to Israel at that time, but Israel refused it. One must understand, to refuse the King, Who is the Lord Jesus Christ, is, at the same time, to refuse the Kingdom.

THE KINGDOM

Of course, it is a moot point; however, if Israel had accepted Him as their King, Messiah and Saviour, how would the Plan of Redemption have been carried out? One must understand, if it was not possible to accept the Kingdom at that time, it would not have been offered to them by John the Baptist and, especially, by our Lord. Of course, the Lord knew through foreknowledge that Israel would reject Him and, thereby, reject the Kingdom. To answer the question as it regards Redemption, which required the Cross, if Israel had accepted Him, to be sure, Rome was waiting in the wings, and in no way would they have tolerated another King. They would have crucified Him.

The point I wish to make is, when the Kingdom was offered to Israel, as it had to be because they were God’s Chosen People, their rejecting it plunged this Planet into a continuing time frame of trouble, war, and heartache that has now lasted for some 2,000 years. Jesus addressed this in His last Sermon, which was on the Mount of Olives that took place hours before His Crucifixion.

Ironically enough, the Lord began His Ministry with a “Sermon on the Mount” (Mat., Chpt. 5), and closed it with a “Sermon on the Mount” (Mat., Chpt. 24). The first mountain was in Galilee, the second mountain, which was the Mount of Olives, was in Jerusalem. Knowing that Israel had rejected Him, which means that they were, by and large, consigning themselves to destruction, He gave a kaleidoscopic account of what this rejection would mean as far as Israel was concerned, the Work of God was concerned, and this Planet was concerned. 

SIGNS OF THE END-TIME

‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’

The Scripture says: “And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives (the coming siege of Jerusalem by the Romans some thirty-seven years later, began at this exact spot where Christ was sitting), the Disciples came unto Him privately (out of earshot of the many Pilgrims in the city for the Passover), saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? (Has to do here with the utterance He had just given concerning the destruction of the Temple.) and what shall be the sign of Your Coming (refers to the Second Coming, which has not yet taken place), and of the end of the world? (Should have been translated ‘age,’ because the world will never end.)”

DECEPTION

“And Jesus answered and said unto them (will now give the future of Israel and how it will effect the entirety of the world), Take heed that no man deceive you (places deception as Satan’s greatest weapon). “For many shall come in My Name (concerns itself primarily with the time immediately before the coming Great Tribulation, and especially its first half), saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (the greatest of these will be the Antichrist, who will claim to be the Messiah). “And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars (has abounded from the beginning but will accelerate during the first half of the Great Tribulation): see that you be not troubled (concerns true Believers): for all these things must come to pass (we are very near presently to the beginning of fulfillment of what Jesus said), but the end is not yet (the end will be at the Second Coming).”

WARS AND GREAT TROUBLES

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (few places in the world, if any, will be exempt from these Judgements). “All these are the beginning of sorrows (first half of the Great Tribulation). “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you (pertains to the mid-point of the Great Tribulation when the Antichrist, whom Israel thought was the Messiah, will show his true colours): and you shall be hated of all nations for My Name’s sake (no nation will come to her rescue; Israel hates Christ, but Christ is the reason that the world hates Israel). “And then shall be many be offended (some Jews will accept Christ, which will be an offense to others), and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another (the Jews who accept Christ will be the brunt of this animosity).” 

FALSE PROPHETS

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many (they will help the Antichrist). “And because iniquity shall abound (the Antichrist called ‘the man of sin’ [2 Thess 2:3 KJV]), the love of many shall wax cold (some who accept Christ will turn their backs on Him). “But he who shall endure unto the end (refers to the end of the Great Tribulation), the same shall be saved (speaks of survival and not the Salvation of the soul). “And this Gospel of the Kingdom (refers to the same type of Gospel preached by Christ and Paulshall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations (not every person, but to all nations; this is close presently to being fulfilled); and then shall the end come (the Second Coming)” (Mat 24:3-14 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

If it is to be noticed, this Olivet discourse has to do with Israel. So, in a sense, the Church is, by and large, omitted, with only the reference of the Gospel of the Kingdom being preached in all the world, etc. If it is to be remembered, the Disciples asked Him a question concerning the End-time respecting Israel. At that time, they really had no knowledge of the Church. So, Jesus answered them according to what they had asked.

‘And He shall send His Angels with a great sound of a trumpet.’

While He alluded to this now some 2,000-year span, it was only to mention the fact that wars would continue and great troubles and difficulties, etc. But most of His Statements concerned the coming Great Tribulation.

In fact, He now goes to the mid-point of that coming terrible time and says: “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the Holy Place (speaks of the Antichrist invading Israel and taking over the Temple), (whoso reads, let him understand:) (Reads it in the Word of God [Dan 8:9-14 KJV; Dan 9:27 KJV; Dan 11:45 KJV; Dan 12:1, 7, 11 KJV].) “Then let them who be in Judaea flee into the mountains (when the Antichrist invades Israel at the mid-point of the Great Tribulation): “Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house (houses are flat on top in that part of the world; during the summer, people often sleep on top of the house; speaks of the necessity of haste): “Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes. “And woe unto them who are with child, and to them who give suck in those days! (The necessity of fleeing will be so urgent that it will be difficult for pregnant women and mothers with little babies.) “But pray you that your flight be not in winter (bad weather), neither on the Sabbath Day (concerns the strict religious observance of the Sabbath, doesn’t permit travel):”

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

“For then shall be great tribulation (the last three and one half years), such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (the worst the world has ever known and will be so bad that it will never be repeated). “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (refers to Israel coming close to extinction): but for the elect’s (Israel’s) sake those days shall be shortened (by the Second Coming). “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not (don’t be deceived). “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets (the Antichrist and the false prophet [Rev., Chpt. 13]), and shall show great signs and wonders (which will be offered as proof); insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (will attempt to deceive Israel). “Behold, I have told you before (is meant to emphasize the seriousness of the matter). “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not (the next Verse will tell the manner of His Coming, which will eclipse all pretenders).

THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN

“For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west (is meant to proclaim the most cataclysmic event the world has ever known); so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be (no one will have to ask, is this really Christ; it will be overly obvious). “For wheresoever the carcase is (speaks of the Battle of Armageddon), there will the eagles be gathered together (should have been translated, ‘there will the vultures be gathered together’ [refers to Ezek 39:17 KJV]). “Immediately after the tribulation of those days (speaks of the time immediately preceding the Second Coming) shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light (the light of these orbs will be dim by comparison to the light of the Son of God), and the stars shall fall from Heaven (a display of heavenly fireworks at the Second Coming), and the powers of the Heavens shall be shaken (will work with the Son of God against the Antichrist at the Second Coming): “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven (pertains to the Second Coming, which will take place in the midst of these Earth and Heaven shaking events): and then shall all the tribes of the Earth mourn (concerns all the nations of the world, which possibly will see this phenomenon by television), and they shall see the Son of Man (denotes Christ and His Human, Glorified Body) coming in the clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory (lends credence to the thought that much of the world will see Him by television as He makes His Descent). “And He shall send His Angels (they will be visible) with a great sound of a trumpet (announcing the gathering of Israel), and they shall gather together His Elect (Israel) from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other (Jews will be gathered from all over the world and brought to Israel)” (Mat 24:15-31 KJV). The Expositor’s Study Bible

(This message was derived from the book by Jimmy Swaggart, ““ARMAGEDDON””.)

Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.
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11.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 9: vs. 13 – 21

Revelation (the Book) feature
Following on from where we left of {see}The Book of Revelation: Chapter 8: vs.1- 9:12

   Sixth trumpet   

   Second Woe   1)The second woe is revealed after the sixth trumpet judgment. This woe begins when a voice commands, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:14). These four angels are demons who were cast from heaven along with Satan. God is right now keeping them imprisoned until the appointed time (Revelation 9:15; cf. Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4). These angels and their armies, numbering two hundred million, are released to kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:15-16). After the second woe passes (Revelation 11:14), there comes a clear division in the book with the announcement from heaven, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15). In other words, this final stage of judgment will be the end, and righteousness will be restored to the earth. source Rev 9:14-16

*Revelation Chapter 9* cont’d

verse 13 - 14 : [13 – 14v13 And the sixth angel sounded, and heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, v14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.


As the sixth angel sounds, John hears a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is in the presence of God. Isn’t it strange that many of the judgments are directly linked with God’s program of atonement?

Perhaps this is because so many have rejected the message of the altar which speaks of the shed blood of Jesus.

Paul warned the human race of the danger of refusing this teaching: He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:28, 29).

The rejection of God’s Word always brings serious consequences.

Before us is a scene wherein even the altar (the only place where sin can be forgiven) and the horns of the altar (actually touched by the blood) unitedly cry out to God for judgment.

Never treat the message of the precious shed blood of Christ lightly. Those who do will be sorry!

Now, because of rejecting the message, the voice from the altar tells the sixth angel to loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

The fact that they are bound proves that they are the fallen angels who rebelled and fell with Lucifer at the time of his revolt (see Isaiah 14:12-14).

Once the Church is safely in heaven, four denizens from the pit of the abyss are released upon earth. Earlier we saw four unfallen angels holding back the judgment of God (chapter 7, verse 1).2)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=REV+7%3A1&version=KJV

Now four wicked angels are set free to wreak havoc upon planet earth.

They are commanded to execute their judgment in the area of the Euphrates River. This body of water runs through Iraq and Syria and will become the point of origin for the battle of the ages in the future.

This land area belongs to Israel and no one but Israel. God will see that they get it. Proof?

And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee (Exodus 23:31).

Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be (Deuteronomy 11:24).

Again God says, From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast (Joshua 1:4).

At one point in history, the Euphrates River became the boundary of the old Roman Empire-which is being restored and will fall under the rule of the Antichrist (chapter 13, verse 1).3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=REV+13%3A1&version=KJV

This area will surely become the sore spot as history progresses, for it serves as both the frontier of the promised land and the boundary of the ten-toed, ten-horned, Western federation of nations that produces the Antichrist (Daniel 2:40,41; Daniel 7:23,24; and Revelation 13:1). The destruction unleashed upon the earth by the four evil emissaries is described in the next verse.

verse 15 : [15]: And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

The population of earth is presently approximately six billion, eight hundred million people, and it is estimated to become seven billion within the next five years.

In our study, we have seen one-fourth of this number die under the rider of the fourth, or pale horse (chapter 6, verse 8).4)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=REV+6%3A8&version=KJV Thus, starting at seven billion earth’s population is reduced to five billion, one hundred million.

Now an additional one-third-or one billion, seven hundred – perish as the four fallen angels are released.

These four executioners are undoubtedly waiting in the wings to begin the drama of the ages. They are prepared and eagerly anticipating their scheduled timetable. Remember, the Euphrates River is Middle East territory-the location of present-day Iraq and Syria. This is the world’s present and future tinderbox.

The holocaust will also include Russia and her allies posed against Israel (Ezekiel 38 and 39).5)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38+%2C+39&version=KJV The barbaric troops come against the nation of Israel from the north: Thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land… (Ezekiel 38:15, 16).

Russia is north of Israel. 

This is why Joel declared in chapter 2, verse 20,6)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=JOEL+2%3A20&version=KJV I will remove far off from you [Israel] the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate [Siberia], with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea.

Geographically, Russia alone meets the qualifications of this text.

As stated previously, Israel is mentioned as the battlefield of the world on eighteen occasions in Ezekiel 38 and 39.7)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38+%2C+39&version=KJV

There is no doubt that the Holy Land becomes the site of the greatest war in the annals of history. Now Russia marches toward the middle of the Tribulation hour, but is driven back to Siberia (see Ezekiel 39:1, 2 and Joel 2:20).

She strengthens her forces and then returns to the land of Israel once again. The scope and intensity of the offensive continues to increase until all nations become involved and are finally gathered together against Israel at Jerusalem. God says, I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle (Zechariah 14:2).

At that point the Battle of Armageddon takes place: He gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).

This Mideast war numbers the largest armies in the history of mankind.
verse 16 : [16] : And the number of the army of the horsemen [was] two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
Think of it! Two hundred million soldiers!

No wonder the ancient prophet said, And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land (Ezekiel 38:16).

This army advances in the latest and best of equipment:

For the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation …The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings (Nahum 2:3, 4).

Many Bible scholars associate the army of two hundred million with Red China and her oriental allies by tying this text concerning the Euphrates together with chapter 16, verse 128)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+16%3A12&version=KJV : And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east [or the kings of the sunrising] might be prepared.

Such an assembly of military might is quite feasible considering China’s present population of nearly one billion, five hundred million. Other Bible commentators believe this army is a supernatural one in light of the three verses which follow:

verse 17 to 19 : [17 – 19v17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. v18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. v19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

The advocates of literalism believe that these same verses portray the latest inventions stockpiled in the military arsenals of the world.

Either way, it will be a devastating period of time as the remaining third of earth’s inhabitants are destroyed by fire, smoke, and brimstone-a sulfurous, poisonous gas.

At this point several verses predicting the final war of fire should be considered: A fire goeth before him (Psalm 97:3). For, behold, the Lord will come with fire (Isaiah 66:15). The whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy (Zephaniah 1:18). A fire devoureth before them (Joel 2:3).

Who? 

The Russian army coming from the north.

Then God states: I will remove far off from you [Israel] the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great [or terrible] things (Joel 2:20).

This is the point at which Russia and her allies are pushed back to Siberia. Joel continues in verse 30 of chapter 29)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A30&version=KJV : And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

This sounds similar to the report mentioned in Malachi 4:1: For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven. And the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up (see Revelation 8:7).

Again-whether the means are natural or supernatural-it is catastrophic.

Personally, I believe that both the natural and the supernatural-men and demons-will be involved in the Tribulation woes. Now, what about the remaining sixty-five percent of the population?

verse 20 - 21 : [20 – 21v20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: v21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
We have now witnessed the release of thirteen judgments-seven seals and six trumpets.

One would think that after experiencing such devastation, mankind would begin considering eternity.

Not so! 

Those who are still alive continue to rebel. Wicked sinners do not give in or give up easily. In fact, God’s Word tells us that men won’t repent even after they have been in the regions of the doomed and the damned for centuries. Even then they continue gnashing their teeth in an expression of their hatred toward God. Proof?

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:41, 42).

Verses 20 and 21: presents five major sins which permeate the Tribulation scene-and for which men would rather die than switch:

(1) occultism.
(2) murder.
(3) drug abuse.
(4) fornication. (sexual orgies)
(5) stealing.

Let’s investigate them further.

   Occultism   

The Tribulation will be a time of pronounced devil worship.

Anton LaVey began the church of Satan movement in San Francisco. Estimates reveal that tens of thousands in California alone are connected to this or some other type of occult organization. Stores where satanic objects may be purchased are presently springing up everywhere nationally and internationally. God hates this sin!

Listen to the Almighty: 

Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:31).

And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people (Leviticus 20:6).

Anything that smacks of demonic-related practices has the anathema of God upon it. Look at the listing found in Deuteronomy 18:10-12:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times [astrology], or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.

In addition to worshipping devils, earth dwellers of the Tribulation hour also use idols made of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood.

God hates idolatry!

This practice breaks His holy law-the second commandment-given to Moses in Exodus 20:4,5 which declares, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.

There are those today who, knowingly or unknowingly, break God’s commandment by worshipping lifeless, man-made idols. Their worship, however, is meaningless to God.

The psalmist says in Psalm 115:4-8, Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them [helpless and hopeless]; so is every one that trusteth in them.

God condemns idolatry-past, present, and future!

During the Tribulation hour, the world-steeped in occultism and idolatry-progresses to the worship of the image of the beast, or Antichrist, who proclaims himself as God (see 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

This image, made in his likeness (see Revelation 13:15), is undoubtedly the abomination of desolation spoken of in Matthew 24:15, which is placed in the Temple in Jerusalem and which brings great heartache to the Jews of that day. One can see that the world’s present surge of occultism is paving the way for the coming of the greatest religious imposter in history.

   Murder   

During this same time, murder becomes a sport and judgment does not change the situation.

The wicked refuse to turn from their brutalistic manner of living. They find pleasure in killing people, perhaps because terrorism is rampant.

Jesus said, But as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:37).

Noah’s day was characterized by violence: The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11).

Our twenty-first century is certainly leading us to this terrifying hour.

   Drugs, fornication, and stealing   

The final three sins prevalent during the end time are interrelated and have to do with

sorceriesdrug abuse, fornication (the practice of every conceivable sex sin), and theft. These sins indicate that bodies are being sold (through prostitution) and burglaries are being committed in order to support the drug kick.

Present news headlines indicate that this day is already dawning! Surely our time as the Church upon earth is about to end and we must prepare to meet [our] God (Amos 4:12).

In concluding this chapter, let’s spend some time on the matter of drugs.

There are a number of words used in the Bible to describe the subject of sorcery. Altogether there are at least twenty-seven references to sorcery, sorceries, sorcerers, witches, witchcraft, and the art of bewitching. Of these, at least five in the New Testament are especially pertinent, for they have a direct bearing on the day in which we live-the present day of drugs and drug addiction.

In the books of the Old Testament and the Book of Acts the term sorcery always means “witchcraft” or “magic“-and one should note that the practice is continually and constantly condemned!

Five occurrences of the word sorcery in the New Testament, however, have to do with drug addiction. In these instances, the original Greek word is pharmakeia-from which we get our English term pharmacy or drugstore.

The literal meaning of the Greek is an “enchantment with drugs,” or to “get high on” or “get a kick out of’ drugs“.

Medications prescribed by doctors are not part of this condemnation.
The literal rendering of verse 21,10)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+9%3A21&version=KJV then, is that men repent not of their enchantment with drugs during the Tribulation hour. Each of the five references must be carefully considered in the light of its context.
Collectively, they clearly reveal:

(1) the present world condition as foretold in the prophetic scriptures;
(2) the inevitable result of drug addiction;
(3) the certain and definite judgment upon the drug pusher as well as
(4) the drug victim; and finally
(5) the appraisal of this terrible sin in the sight of God Almighty.

As previously stated, we can already see the dawning of the day of drugs in the spread of drug use throughout all levels of society.

Such a widespread use of drugs cannot help but bring its own destruction. Even amid all the trips in mind expansion propaganda, not one user has ever been able to actually do more or be more efficient than he was before experimenting with drugs. This steady downward retrogression will be climaxed at the close of the Great Tribulation, when the full cup of its own judgment is measured.

The closing chapters of the Book of Revelation graphically portray the terrible consequences of mankind’s enchantment with drugs.

What we are presently witnessing is only the beginning of the coming disintegration of society during the Tribulation period.

Revelation 18:23 states: For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

The Greek word for sorceries, as already mentioned, is pharmakeia. Thus, “by their enchantment with drugs, or getting high on drugs, were all nations deceived.” This is the result of mankind’s first mass usage of drugs.

Now there is a change in the next occurrence of the word translated sorcerers. This change reveals a class of people who are doomed and is found in chapter 21, verse 811)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A8&version=KJVBut the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The Greek word for sorcerers in this text is pharmakeus.

Whereas the word pharmakeia meant “enchantment with drugs,pharmakeus means “the enchanter with drugs“-the pusher or the seller of drugs. This text plainly declares that eight distinct groups of people will never get into heaven but will rather be assigned to the lake of fire (a description of a literal hell). One of these groups is composed of those who are enchanters, or pushers of drugs. What a solemn warning against having anything to do with the soul-damning drug traffic of the present hour!

But wait! There is another reference to sorcerers in this book of the Bible – chapter 22, verse 1512)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22%3A15&version=KJV : For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Here again the word is pharmakeus.

Although the word is the same as the one found in chapter 21, verse 8,13)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A8&version=KJV it has a deeper meaning in this context.

By extension, it includes both the drug pusher and user! Take notice-these individuals are kept out of heaven. (Heaven would not be heaven very long if they were admitted.) There is only one place to which they can go and that is the place of eternal separation from the presence of God- the place prepared for Satan and his angels (see Matthew 25:41).

The Bible is explicit in stating that there is no heaven for those who refuse to repent of their sins.

In hell, they will keep on sinning forever. They never repent or get saved there. Notice also that of the six groups named in chapter 22, verse 15,14)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22%3A15&version=KJV sorcerers (drug pushers and users) occupy second place-immediately following the term which describes outlaws as wild dogs. Oh, God hates this sin!

An additional word, witchcraft, with the same meaning is found in Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The word witchcraft in our English Bible is again pharmakeia in the Greek. We also see that this sin is number six in this listing of seventeen kinds of sinners who shall not-shall not-inherit the kingdom of God. The drug user and the drug pusher are both excluded from heaven!

Is there no hope or escape from the clutches of this binding habit? Praise God, there is a source of liberation-it is the Lord Jesus Christ: For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

Beloved, it is by the way of the cross of Calvary that Jesus has broken Satan’s grip. Now, when any-any-guilty sinner calls upon Him for salvation, Jesus Christ immediately frees that person from the shackles of sin and death which bind him.

Try Him. There is no limit to the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Mar 26, 2014 | Re Published : Mar 14, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. The second woe is revealed after the sixth trumpet judgment. This woe begins when a voice commands, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates” (Revelation 9:14). These four angels are demons who were cast from heaven along with Satan. God is right now keeping them imprisoned until the appointed time (Revelation 9:15; cf. Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4). These angels and their armies, numbering two hundred million, are released to kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:15-16). After the second woe passes (Revelation 11:14), there comes a clear division in the book with the announcement from heaven, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15). In other words, this final stage of judgment will be the end, and righteousness will be restored to the earth. source
2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=REV+7%3A1&version=KJV
3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=REV+13%3A1&version=KJV
4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=REV+6%3A8&version=KJV
5, 7. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38+%2C+39&version=KJV
6. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=JOEL+2%3A20&version=KJV
8. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+16%3A12&version=KJV
9. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel+2%3A30&version=KJV
10. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+9%3A21&version=KJV
11. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A8&version=KJV
12, 14. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22%3A15&version=KJV
13. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A8&version=KJV

10.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 8: vs. 1 – 9:12

Revelation (the Book) feature

We now witness the opening of the seventh seal. 
This seal includes the seven trumpet judgments. 

They are so terrifying that, as they are opened, all the heavenly host becomes silent.

*Revelation 8*

verse 1 : [1] : And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
Bob Ripley, in his “Believe It or Not” newspaper column, stated: “This verse proves there will be no women in heaven.” Ha! Seriously, what causes this breathtaking silence among angels and men? Answer-the contemplation of the forthcoming trumpet blasts.
verse 2 : [2]: And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

These trumpet judgments were prophesied by Enoch as recorded in the Book of Jude, verses 14 and 15,1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jude1%3A14-15&version=KJV and were anticipated by the psalmist as well.

That’s why Psalm 96:13 states: He cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. 

Paul also confirmed these judgments in Acts 17:31, mentioning a time when the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Romans 1:18). Before the first trumpet sends forth its blast in verse 7,2)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+8%3A7&version=KJV however, we witness an unusual prayer meeting in the next three verses.

verse 3 : [3] : And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

This angel is obviously the Lord Jesus Christ himself, because He ministers both to God and man (see 1 Timothy 2:5).

The Saviour also appeared as the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament in many instances: He wrestled with Jacob, walked among Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and made numerous other Old Testament visits to His people. This Mediator between God and men ever liveth to make intercession (Hebrews 7:25) and now stands at the altar adding incense (efficacy) to the prayers being offered by the saints of God on earth.

They are imprecatory prayers for judgment, as in Revelation 6:10.

They cry, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

At this point their prayers have reached the throne of God!

verse 1 : [4] : And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Now prayers are answered, and judgment is prepared.
verse 1 : [5] : And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
What a contrast from the solemn silence of verse 1.3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation+8%3A1&version=KJV Now every noise imaginable is heard as judgment is prepared.
verse 1 : [6] : And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

At this moment the heavenly military says, “Ready! Aim! Fire!” This is it!

   First trumpet   
verse 7 : [7] : The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

We have no difficulty understanding this verse literally. The same kind of judgment occurred in Exodus 9:22, 23: And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt…And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.

It happened then; now it happens again!

   Second trumpet   
verse 8 : [8] : And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

This judgment is undoubtedly a giant meteor falling into the sea. Notice the phrase, as it were a mountain. This, again, is a symbolic description. Always take every word of the Bible literally unless God tells you to take it figuratively. This passage is an example of the latter. Something gigantic, as or like a mountain, is cast into the sea and causes a third part of the sea to become blood.

A similar occurrence was experienced in Moses’ day: And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that [were] in the river died (Exodus 7:19-21).

verse 9 : [9] : And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
God’s second trumpet blast is so horrendous that one-third of the creatures in the sea die and a third part of the ships are destroyed. God only knows what horrendous plagues will result when nuclear war under, upon, and above the oceans takes place.
   Third trumpet   
verse 10 & 11 : [10-11v10  And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters, v11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Strange that Chernobyl in the Ukrainian Bible means “Wormwood.” 

This judgment also occurred in Moses’ day: Behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood (Exodus 7:17).

Now the phenomenon is repeated. 

A star, or meteor, soaring through space, speeds toward earth. When it strikes, one-third of our planet’s water supply becomes a deadly poison. Rivers, springs, and wells are affected.

Something similar happened in decades past. 

A volcanic explosion in the Aleutian Islands on March 21, 1823, caused the waters in that area to become bitter and unfit for human consumption.

This could easily happen again.

God created every star, knows their locations, and has named them. Job 9:9 states: [He] maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.

He also knows where the star, Wormwood, meaning “bitterness,” is located, because Jeremiah 9:15 reports, Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink (Jeremiah 9:15).

It will happen!

   Fourth trumpet   
{*WOE No.1: Rev 8:12 – Rev 9:12}
verse 12 to 13 : [12-13] v12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. v13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

This fourth judgment has to do with earth’s luminaries-the sun, moon, and stars. 

We note with interest that, on the fourth day of creation, God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven (Genesis 1:14).

Now, at the blast of the fourth trumpet, one-third of the light produced by these bodies is extinguished.

This, too, happened in Moses’ day: And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days (Exodus 10:21-23).

It happened once; it will happen again!

The worst, however, is yet to come. 

An angel flying through the midst of heaven cries, Woe, woe, woe! 

This correlates with Daniel, chapter 9,4)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+9&version=KJV where the Seventieth Week (discussed in Revelation, chapter 6)5)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+6&version=KJV is described.

The first three and one-half years of the Tribulation are not nearly as severe as the final three and one-half years.

In Matthew 24:8, our Lord described the first half of this time period as the beginning of sorrows. However, He referred to the final three and one-half years as the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21).

As the Tribulation hour approaches its climax, the judgments become more severe and the loss of life greater. This is especially noticed as one observes that two verses cover the scope of each of the first four trumpets.

However, trumpet five requires twelve verses and trumpet six necessitates nine verses.

   Fifth trumpet   

*Revelation 9*

verse 1 : [1] : And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

The star John sees-a male personage-is without a doubt the devil of verse 11. The Greek tense in verse 16)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+9%3A1&version=KJV is not fall – present tense, but fallen – past tense. Isaiah describes this fall in chapter 14, verses 12 through 147)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+14%3A12-14&version=KJVHow art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high. 

Satan’s fall came through pride. He wanted to be coequal with God.

Jesus, in eternity past, beheld this fall and said to His seventy disciples, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18). This fallen one is presented with a key to the bottomless pit, and he uses it.

verse 2 : [2] : And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

The term bottomless pit does not refer to one who has a voluminous appetite! 

Instead, the literal Greek renders it “the pit of the abyss.” 

The term is found nine times in the New Testament. In each case, it is a place to restrain or hold certain beings which have come under the judgment of God. For instance, when Christ went into the country of Gadarenes, He met a certain man who had a legion of demons. The demons within the man besought the Lord that he would not command them to go out into the deep [or abyss] (Luke 8:31). Their dread and terror of the pit (or abyss) was so great that they would rather become incarnated in swine. Oh, the pit of the abyss must be a terrible place!

How frightful, then, is the hour when the prison house of fallen angels is finally opened. 

The smoke ascending out of the pit darkens the sun and the air. Talk about pollution! The environmentalists had better get saved or they will be around for the greatest soot inundation in history. Then they will have a steady job picketing the portals of hell-but it will be too late.

   First Woe    Rev 9:3-68)The first woe is revealed after the fifth trumpet judgment. This woe is involves something like locusts that have the ability to sting like a scorpion (Revelation 9:3). Generally, these are not accepted as literal locusts because of their description and because they come from the Abyss and have a demonic overlord (Revelation 9:3, 7-8,11). These creatures are permitted to harm only those people who do not have the “seal of God on their forehead” (Revelation 9:4). Those bearing God’s seal are the 144,000 (Revelation 7:3-4) or, possibly, all believers during that time (Ephesians 4:30). These demonic locusts are allowed to torment unbelievers for five months (Revelation 9:5) with painful stings. Although victims will long for death (Revelation 9: 6), they will not be granted that release. source

verse 3 : [3] : And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power

These are not literal locusts. 

Their power is too great. They are most likely fallen angels who have been restrained and imprisoned in the bottomless pit since their fall (described in Genesis 6).9)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen+6&version=KJV These wicked beings, chained in darkness all of these centuries (see 2 Peter 2:4), can hardly wait to begin their acts of evil.

They are told what they can and cannot do:

verse 4 : [4] : And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
In chapter 7,10)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+7&version=KJV we saw multitudes sealed. The locusts, or fallen angels, are not allowed to touch the sealed, only the unsealed-those who have worshiped the Beast and accepted his number, 666. Note also that the locusts are not allowed to kill the unsealed (the unsaved). They are permitted only to torture them.
verse 5 : [5] : And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
What an agonizing period of time this will be!
verse 6 : [6] : And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
The next four verses give us a vivid description of these locusts, or fallen angels.
verse 7 to 10 : [7-10] : v7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle [this speaks of strength and speed]; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold [this speaks of royalty; a picture of conquerors], and their faces were as the faces of men [denoting intelligence]. v8 And they had hair as the hair of women [picturing attractiveness], and their teeth were as the teeth of lions [portraying cruelty]v9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron [picturing invincibility]; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle [denoting calamity]. v10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
These facts reinforce the gruesome portrait of life upon earth as the pit of the abyss is opened and the convicts of the ages-the fallen angels-are released. The next verse clearly identifies the fallen star who is the leader of these perverted angels.
verse 1 : [11]: And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

This king is named in both Hebrew and Greek. Abaddon is Hebrew. 

The term, found only this one time in our English Bible, is found six times in the Hebrew Bible: Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; Psalm 88:11; Proverbs 15:11; and Proverbs  27:20.

The Greek form, Apollyon, means     the destroyer”      –  a word that certainly describes Satan.

verse 12 : [12]: One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Mar 25, 2014 | Re Published : Mar 7, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jude1%3A14-15&version=KJV
2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+8%3A7&version=KJV
3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation+8%3A1&version=KJV
4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+9&version=KJV
5. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+6&version=KJV
6. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+9%3A1&version=KJV
7. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isa+14%3A12-14&version=KJV
8. The first woe is revealed after the fifth trumpet judgment. This woe is involves something like locusts that have the ability to sting like a scorpion (Revelation 9:3). Generally, these are not accepted as literal locusts because of their description and because they come from the Abyss and have a demonic overlord (Revelation 9:3, 7-8,11). These creatures are permitted to harm only those people who do not have the “seal of God on their forehead” (Revelation 9:4). Those bearing God’s seal are the 144,000 (Revelation 7:3-4) or, possibly, all believers during that time (Ephesians 4:30). These demonic locusts are allowed to torment unbelievers for five months (Revelation 9:5) with painful stings. Although victims will long for death (Revelation 9: 6), they will not be granted that release. source
9. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen+6&version=KJV
10. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+7&version=KJV

09.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 7: vs. 1 – 17

Revelation (the Book) feature
God has a parenthesis {inserted as an explanation or afterthought} for us

The seventh seal is discussed in chapter 8.1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8&version=KJV However, before we get there, God has a parenthesis for us in this chapter.

Chapter 7 may be divided into two portions dealing with two groups:

• verses: 1 through 82)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A1-8&version=KJV -the 144,000 Israelites.

• verses: 9 through 173)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A9-17&version=KJV -the multitudinous Gentiles.

This chapter also portrays God as compassionate, merciful, and loving.

This is right, for God is love (1 John 4:8). In fact, God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16, 17).

It’s mankind’s wickedness, rebellion, and sin that produce judgment: For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8).

The judgments already described were unleashed because of the hardness of men’s hearts.

They rebelled-and continue to rebel-for thousands of years. God, however, is so great that, at this point, He declares a “time out.”

He still loves the human race and longs to save mankind.

He desires for men everywhere to open their minds and hearts and come unto Him. The result is this chapter, which deals with the mercy of God in the midst of Tribulation. God, in love, creates a lull before the storm in order to call men to salvation and revival.

THE 144,000 ISRAELITES

verse 1 : [1]: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

The fact that the angels are standing on the four corners of the earth does not signify that the earth is square. God knows the world He made is round: He …sitteth upon the circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22).

This statement was in the Bible when Christopher Columbus allegedly was making a fool of himself by claiming, contrary to public opinion, that the world was round. The God who made it and sits upon the circle of it knows it is not square.

Therefore, the term “the four corners of the earth” is but a Bible expression depicting north, south, east, and west-the four points of the compass.

The four angels, standing at these four positions administering judgment, are commanded to relent so there might be a time of great revival as the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.

verse 2 & 3 : [2 & 3] v2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, v3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The wicked get their seal-666-under the super-deceiver, the great imitator, the Antichrist (chapter 13, verses 17 and 18)4)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A17%2C18&version=KJV. The genuine believers receive their seal from the angel of God at this point in time.
verse 4 to 8 : [4 to 8] v4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. v5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. v6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.v7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. v8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

This group cannot be the Church: for the Church is already in heaven (chapter 4, verse 1).5)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV Also, the Church is not Jewish, but is composed of all races, people, and tongues. Again, this group does not picture the Seventh Day Adventists or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Both have claimed this in their theological writings.

The Seventh Day Adventists: say that the 144,000 are not Englishmen or Americans either, as the advocates of British Israelism teach. They make the Israelites forerunners of the Anglo-Saxons. Come on now, Armstrongites and Garner Ted. Surely you cannot be that foolish!

These are Jewish tribes with Jewish names.

Do the names Juda, Reuben, Gad, Aser, Nepthalim, Manasses, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph and Benjamin sound British?

Had they been named Heathcliff, Sir Winston, or Sherlock Holmes you might have had reason to propose such nonsense. Under the circumstances, however, you had better allow Jews with Jewish names to head up Jewish tribes in a Jewish nation-Israel.

Presently the Jews are not certain of their tribal heritage.

However, the omniscient, all-knowing God will untangle this condition at the appointed time. Actually, no one today really knows what his stock is. As a result of migrations, most people are a hodgepodge of differing nationalities. Perhaps it is best not to know or trace one’s ancestry. We might be embarrassed to discover our roots! One might learn that he is a descendant of Attila the Hun! Persons planning to study their family tree should beware. They might find some of their relatives hanging by the neck, while the evolutionists find theirs hanging by the tail!

The 144,000 Jewish evangelists are anointed by the Spirit. Joel 2:28, 29 describes the situation as these Spirit-filled preachers proclaim the gospel of the kingdom. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

We need to pause here briefly because there is a great deal of confusion concerning the presence of the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation hour.

This has resulted from a faulty understanding and interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

The term letteth is the Old English word for hinders.

The picture being painted here is the rise of the Antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:6 states: Ye know what withholdeth that [the Antichrist] might be revealed in his time. Then verse seven makes it clear that the Hinderer-the Holy Spirit-continues to hinder the Antichrist’s rise until He-the Holy Spirit-is taken out of the way.

Here is another reason millions believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture.

Why?

The Hinderer lives in the hearts of His people: If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Romans 8:9). Also, 1 Corinthians 3:16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Because of this truth, God’s Spirit cannot be taken unless those in whom He lives are taken. Hallelujah!

One should note, however, that the Spirit’s removal only speaks of His restraining power.

Let me prove this assertion:

The Holy Spirit is God, the third member of the Trinity. As God, He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), and omnipresent (everywhere at al
l times). Therefore, the Holy Spirit cannot be removed from the earth because He, as God, is in all places constantly.

David states in Psalm 139:7-10: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Since the Holy Spirit is everywhere at all times, only His restraining influence over sin is removed during the Tribulation hour.

Presently Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world: (see Matthew 5:13-16).

The evacuation of Christians, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit lives, is the way-the only way-His restraining influence on sin is removed, ridding the world of salt and light. Christians are God’s preservative forces, as well as the dispellers of darkness. Imagine what happens when the Spirit’s restraining influence (the Church) is removed via the Rapture. Quite literally, all hell will break loose upon earth. Still, even during this time, His continuing personal presence on earth produces one of the greatest revivals in the history of mankind.

The message of the 144,000 centers on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This was the emphasis of the Old Testament preachers: To [Jesus] give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43).

In addition to preaching the message of the shed blood of Jesus, the 144,000 proclaim the advent of the King: And this gospel [or good news] of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24: 14).

This is not the message of His first coming – the Rapture (chapter 4, verse 1)6)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV but the Revelation or revealing of Christ as King (chapter 19, verse 16).7)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A16&version=KJV

In order to get a picture of the complete message the kingdom messengers proclaim, one must study the life of John the Baptist.

John’s message was:

(1) Repentance: He said, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2);

(2) the blood: again, He saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world  (John 1:29).

This message of repentance and the blood was to prepare the hearts of the people for the third part of His message-the coming of the King. Though Christ was rejected in the days of John the Baptist, He will be accepted when the 144,000 Jews preach the identical message.

At this time a worldwide revival ensues, for one of the elders asks, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (chapter 7, verses 13 and 14).8)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A13%2C14&version=KJV

Let’s study this God-sent, Holy Spirit-empowered revival, step by step.

THE MULTITUDINOUS GENTILES

verse 9 : [9]: After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

John states: After this.

After what?

After the 144,000 Jewish evangelists are sealed by the Spirit of God. God’s message is always to the Jew first, then to the Gentile.

That’s why Romans 1:16 declares, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Since the Jews have heard, John sees a great multitude standing before the throne which no man could count, from every race and nationality. Their white robes prove that they have trusted in the message of the blood and are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The waving of the palms in their hands signifies victory. They have overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. They are joyous because they have survived the first six seals of judgment and their joy leads to praise.

verse 10 : [10]:They cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
This multitude recognizes the source of their salvation and victory. They cannot be kept silent. Who can be silent when the grace of God does its mighty work of salvation in one’s heart? Immediately the angels join with them in praise to the Father and to the Son.

verse 11 & 12 : [11 & 12v11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, v12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

What a glorious scene as the angels surrounding the throne and God’s people (represented by the elders) fall on their faces in worship, praise, and adoration!

Their sevenfold praise session to God centers around:

(1) blessing,
(2) glory,
(3) wisdom,
(4) thanksgiving,
(5) honour,
(6) power, and
(7) might…forever and forever!

No wonder they say, “Amen!” Then one of the elders asks a question.

verse 13 : [13]: And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
The answer?
verse 14 : [14]: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

This is another proof that the Church is in heaven, not upon earth.

Why?

John does not recognize this group.

He knows the raptured Church in heaven (chapter 4, verse 1),9)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV but not the ones on earth in this text. These are Tribulation saints who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Please hear God once again: These are they which came out of great tribulation. That settles it and explains why John-who recognized the Church in heaven-is in a fog concerning these individuals. They are new brothers and sisters in Christ, though unknown to John. They have been saved in a different period of time-a time when he and the Church were in heaven. The Church was not on earth to make their acquaintance.

The next scene is exciting. Each group saved during different dispensations of time has different duties to perform. The Church is the bride of Christ and enjoys the 1,000-year honeymoon upon earth (chapter 20, verse 4).10)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20%3A4&version=KJV They reign as rulers, kings, and priests (1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6). The 144,000 serve as bodyguards of the Lamb and His bride (chapter 14, verse 4).11)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+14%3A4&version=KJV The Gentiles saved during the Tribulation will be Temple servants, waiting on Christ and His bride. They serve in the glorious Temple (described in Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48)12)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+40-48&version=KJV which is set up immediately after Russia-under the names of Gog, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Rosh-is destroyed (Ezekiel 38 and 39).13)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38-39&version=KJV Everything is so near. Russia could march soon, then Antichrist would be smashed and the Lord would return with His bride. At that time the millennial Temple is erected and the Gentiles serve.

verse 15 : [15]: Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
Because God is dwelling among them, the deprivations they suffered under the Antichrist are now abolished. Under the reign of the world dictator, there was little food and one had to take the mark of the beast, 666, to obtain sustenance. These believers who refused the number had to eke out an existence day by day. Now, with the Lord in their midst, the picture changes.
verse 16 : [16]:They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

This refers to the scorching effects of the sun during the Tribulation hour: [As] the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire (chapter 16, verse 8).14)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+16%3A8&version=KJV In addition, the word heat refers to the fires of persecution as described in 1 Peter 1:7. Such trials are finished forever.

From this point onward the people of God from all dispensations enjoy the presence of God. Their days of suffering, heartache, and abuse by an ungodly world are finished. Tears are wiped way as every remembrance of past sorrow is obliterated from their minds.

verse 1 : [17]: For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Mar 12, 2014 | Re Published : Feb 29, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8&version=KJV
2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A1-8&version=KJV
3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A9-17&version=KJV
4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A17%2C18&version=KJV
5, 6, 9. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV
7. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A16&version=KJV
8. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A13%2C14&version=KJV
10. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20%3A4&version=KJV
11. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+14%3A4&version=KJV
12. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+40-48&version=KJV
13. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38-39&version=KJV
14. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+16%3A8&version=KJV

08.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 6: vs. 5 – 17

Revelation (the Book) feature

THIRD SEAL
As we continue chapter six, which introduces the Tribulation hour upon earth, a word of explanation is in order concerning the placement of signs.
verse 5 & 6 : [5 & 6v5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. v6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and wine.

Famine and inflation usually follow war. 

The rider on the black horse produces these tragic twin sorrows upon earth.

Ezekiel prophesied this hour: And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time thou shalt eat it. Thou shalt drink also water by measure… behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care (Ezekiel 4:10, 11, 16).

Leviticus 26:26 states: … Ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

This is pictured by the pair of balances in our text. 

The angel in Revelation 6:6 also cries, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny.

In Bible times laborers received a denarius, or one penny, as an entire day’s wages (see Matthew 20:2). A measure would be sixteen of our American ounces.

Think of it! An entire day’s wages for a loaf of bread!

No wonder Moses said, Ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

A man will have to spend everything he has just for the necessities of life. What about the oil and wine? These items were luxuries in Bible times, and we find that there are those who still possess them during the Tribulation. Nevertheless, the general picture is that of hunger stalking the world.

Why?

Inflation, the leading economic culprit, becomes so bad during the Tribulation that precious metals actually become worthless.

Those who think that it will help to hoard diamonds, gold, or silver should beware! During this period of time, inflation will skyrocket and the Antichrist’s numerical program, 666, will replace gold, silver, and paper money.

Because of the situation, they shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: … their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord… (Ezekiel 7:19). 

James adds in chapter 5, verses 1 and 3,1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james+5%3A1%2C3&version=KJV Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.. .your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Earthly treasure, then as now, brings nothing but sorrow and tears in the last days. One had better do what he can for the Lord while he can. Why leave it behind for the Tribulation hour or keep it until it becomes valueless?

Every Christian should serve God with material blessings, winning souls to Him for all eternity.

Jesus said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21). 

One can either let go-give it to God and store it up on the other side-or hang on, keep it, and let greedy, unsaved relatives share it, losing it both here and forever. One must make his choice-either for the here and now, or for eternity.

FOURTH SEAL
Let’s move on to the next rider, on a pale horse, who aggravates the conditions begun by the rider on the black horse. The third seal unleashes hunger and inflation upon the earth, but the fourth seal produces mass starvation.
verse 7 & 8 : [7 & 8v7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. v8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger; and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. 
«This horse is described as pale.» 

The Greek word is chloros from which we get the term chlorine gas. In other areas of the New Testament, we find that chloros is translated “green” (see Mark 6:39 and Revelation 9:4).

«The fourth rider is the deadliest.»  

This is why his name is Death and why Hell follows with him.

He destroys the body, then Hell swallows up

the souls and spirits of those he kills with sword, hunger, and the beasts of the earth-probably AIDS, produced by the green monkey virus. One-fourth of the world’s population dies through his brutality-more than one billion, seven hundred fifty million people at today’s population figures.

This could easily happen

given the capability of mankind’s atomic, hydrogen, and neutron bombs. Today’s armies have the means to reduce population figures by tens of millions within hours. Their arsenals include chemical warfare and test tubes filled with germs for the greatest biological and bacteriological attack ever.

The after effects of such a battle could easily dwindle earth’s population by twenty-five percent. God help us when it happens!

FIFTH SEAL
Next, the opening of the fifth seal brings forth the cries of slain martyrs. 

Jesus spoke of this hour in Matthew 24:9, 10. Hear Him: Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Please read chapter 42)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV again. 

Rediscover that this reference is to Tribulation saints composed of elect Israelites and those Gentiles converted by the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. These persecuted saints and martyrs are not part of the Church-the body of Christ and the bride of the Saviour-already in glory (chapter 4, verse 1).3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV

verse 9 to 11 : [9 – 11v9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: v10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? v11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. 
These martyred saints are seen under the altar. 

In the Old Testament, the altar always referred to the place where blood had been sacrificed. Souls will be saved during the Tribulation hour the same way souls are saved today-through the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Because the believers of the Tribulation hour proclaim Christ crucified, they lose their lives.

At this point every twenty-first century believer should ask himself the question,

Would there be enough evidence to convict me as a Christian during this period of time were I present?” However, in this age of grace, we also will be the losers if we attempt to be secret disciples, never testifying of our faith in Christ Jesus.

The Saviour said, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my father which is in heaven (Matthew 10:32, 33).

Please listen to this next statement carefully. 

These slain martyrs are crying.

They are not in an unconscious state. The doctrine of “soul sleep” is not taught in the Bible. Some denominations teach that all believers sleep until the resurrection morning.

Not so! 

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:8, To be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord.

The “soul sleep” adherents can never find a time when they are absent from their bodies. If the soul remains in a state of sleep in that body until the morning of Christ’s return, the two are never separated.

The Bible teaches that they are separated.

The body is asleep in one place (the grave), whereas the soul is alive in another place (heaven or hell). For the Christian, to be absent from the body means to be present with the Lord. 

That is why Paul said, To die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

It is also the reason that, when Christ returns at the Rapture, He brings those who sleep (the dead) with Him: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

Now, how can the Lord bring the dead with Him and still come after the dead in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?

Simple. 

It’s because the dead are in two places!

The souls and spirits are with the Lord (absent from the body and present with the Lord), but their bodies are in the grave. 

Hence, Christ brings the dead-the souls and spirits already in His presence-with Him, so they may come to get their bodies. That’s why the dead in Christ rise first. But all this pictures’ the Rapture. The text under investigation describes a later time-the Tribulation hour. 

It is then that the spirits of the martyred Tribulation saints cry. They also wear white robes. Lifeless spirits cannot cry or wear white robes.

The solution ?

The spiritual being has a temporary covering. 

Proof: For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved [dead], we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). 

We may not understand everything about the spirit world, but one thing is certain- being in spirit form does not mean unconsciousness.

Spirits move, talk, cry, and even wear white robes.

Demons also are spirits. 

They spoke on many occasions in the Gospels.

Why?

Spirits live!

Away with the doctrine ofsoul sleepin any dispensation! Our loved ones are with Jesus if they died trusting in the merits of the shed blood. They are also under the altar, just as these Tribulation saints will be. Soon they will come forth for their eternal covering, their bodies.

Now, since we have learned that it is possible for the dead to cry because the spirit never ceases to exist, we next discover that their cry is one of vengeance.

Why? 

They are not under grace, the love covenant. Instead, they want blood. Stephen, under grace, cried,

Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (Acts 7:60).

But this is a different dispensation-the fulfillment of the hour mentioned by David when he spoke of the actions of Jehovah, saying,

  • He maketh inquisition for blood (Psalm 9:12).

This group of saints knows that prophecy is being fulfilled, and they wonder how much longer their loved ones, still alive, must suffer. The Lord speaks to them about having a little more patience. There will be one more wave of persecution in chapter 20, verse 4. Then they will live and reign with Him for 1,000 years.

SIXTH SEAL
In verse 12, we see a great earthquake.
verse 12 to 17 : [12-17] v12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sack-cloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; v13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. v14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. v15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; v16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: v17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
There are four quakes in the Book of Revelation

the one mentioned here plus three others in Revelation chapter 8, verse 5, chapter 11, verse 13, and chapter 16, verses 18 and 19.4)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A5%2C11%3A13%2C16%3A18%2C19&version=KJV 

It is interesting to note that the judgments of the first four seals were under the jurisdiction of the Antichrist. The opening of the sixth seal,

however, begins the administration of supernatural judgment from heaven. One cannot conscientiously interpret these events figuratively. The judgments occurring in this portion of Scripture are to be taken literally.

And why not? 

Do you know that earthquakes have accompanied the judgment of God throughout history? 

Mount Sinai quaked when God descended upon it in fire: And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly (Exodus 19:18).

Rocks were smashed to smithereens through earthquakes in Elijah’s day: For, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord (1 Kings 19:11).

There was also a great earthquake when Christ died at Calvary: Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose (Matthew 27:51, 52).

If all these quakes were real, why wouldn’t the scene before us be literal?

It is exactly what Jesus predicted for the Tribulation hour. He said, And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (Luke 21:25, 26).

At this time the earthquakes and convulsions upon earth are so great that the stars of heaven fall like figs being shaken out of a tree prematurely. Strong winds, possible tornado’s, and hurricanes also wreak great havoc. 

The devastating quakes cause mountains and islands to be moved from their foundations. 

No wonder one-half of the world’s population dies through the manifold catastrophes that bombard the earth.

The scene is so terrifying that kings, great men, rich men, chief captains, mighty men, bondmen, and all free men hide in dens and mountains for safety.

Now we understand Christ’s statement: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth (Luke 21:26).

The situation becomes so unbearable that humanity pleads to die, begging for obliteration and annihilation by crying to the mountains and rocks saying, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6: 16, 17).

Thank God, the Church is in heaven during this calamitous hour!

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published : Mar 6, 2014 | Re Published : Feb 22, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=james+5%3A1%2C3&version=KJV
2, 3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV
4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A5%2C11%3A13%2C16%3A18%2C19&version=KJV

07.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 6: vs. 1 – 4

Revelation (the Book) feature
As we begin chapter six, which introduces the Tribulation hour upon earth, a word of explanation is in order concerning the placement of signs.

Some sincere Christians say:

Matthew 24:14 states that the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.

Since there are some tribes who have not yet heard, Jesus Christ cannot return. Such people have their signs in the wrong place, because the Rapture is a signless, timeless event. Let’s investigate this statement further.

What relationship exists between the Rapture and prophetic signs? 

None. Are you shocked?

The Rapture is only an evacuation of believers before the great judgment of the Tribulation hour.

It is a meeting in the heavenlies and not Christ’s return to the earth.

Since His first coming was to earth, His second coming must also be to earth.

The Rapture, then, is not a coming to earth, but a meeting in the clouds. Seven years later we return with Him, and all the signs point to this coming when He returns to earth.

Watch the simplicity of this next statement unfold. Take two Bibles and place them side by side.

Open one to the Book of Revelation, chapter 6,1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6 where the signs begin.Then open the other to Matthew 24,2)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=ESV Mark 13,3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+13&version=ESV Luke 174)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+17&version=ESV or Luke 21.5)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21&version=ESV Compare the signs in these chapters with those found in the Book of Revelation. {Comparison Chart}

The inescapable conclusion?

They are identical! 

The texts are practically the same.

The Church is raptured in chapter 4, verse 1,6)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=ESV and believers-represented by the twenty-four elders in verses 10 and 117)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A10-11&version=ESV – are placing crowns at the Saviour’s feet before the signs and judgments of the Tribulation hour begin in chapters 6 through 18.8)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=ESV

The signs, then, are post-Rapture and pre-Revelational. In other words, they are fulfilled after the Rapture and before the Revelation-after Christ calls His saints home to heaven and before He returns with them to earth.

Not one sign needs to be fulfilled prior to the Rapture, because all the signs point to the Revelation, or the revealing of Christ to the earth. Thus, there is a period of seven years following the Rapture during which every sign can be adequately fulfilled. This, of course, is the Tribulation hour, after we Christians have been raptured.

At this point every believer should praise the Lord, because the next statement is utterly fantastic. Since the signs point to Christ’s return to earth, and since we believers return with Him, then the logical deduction is that all signs point to our return with Christ. Presently the signs are casting their shadows.

They are all beginning to be fulfilled. Imagine! The prophecies that take place after we believers are gone and which indicate that we will return with Him are already beginning.

If the signs indicate that we are coming back with Jesus soon, and we are still on earth, how very, very soon must the Rapture then occur to take us out of this earth so that, seven years later, we can return with Him!

Presently a number of the sealed judgments contained in this chapter deserve special emphasis. 

Each will be discussed thoroughly later.

First, in verse 2,9)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A2&version=ESV we discover a rider on a white horse.

This coincides with Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:3-5, when His disciples asked Him, 

What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said ‘unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ.

This rider on the white horse, depicting the first seal judgment, is a counterfeit. Satan always attempts to do everything that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to do.

The Lord is seated on a white horse in chapter 19, verse 11,10)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11&version=KJV when He returns with you and me to the earth. Thus, seven years before Christ returns, the Antichrist also mounts a white horse.

This event is identical to the sign of Matthew 24:3.

Next one should note

verse 3 & 4 : [3 & 4] : And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. 

This is the second sign Jesus mentioned: that there would be wars and rumors of wars (see Matthew 24:6).

verse 5 & 6 : [5 & 6] state: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. 

This is a picture of mass starvation and agrees with Christ’s third sign:

There shall be famines (Matthew 24:7).

verse 7 & 8 : In verses [7 & 8] we are told, And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. 

The fourth seal judgment agrees with Christ’s statement: [There shall be] pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places, destroying thousands, yea millions (Matthew 24:7).

verse 9 : [9] states: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. 
This is the fifth sign Jesus gave in Matthew 24:8 and 9These are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
verse 12 to 16 : Finally in [12 to 16]John tells us, And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

The sixth seal is the sixth sign Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.

Thus, it is evident that Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain the same signs as the Book of Revelation. However, one must realize that each sign is completed or fulfilled after chapter 4, verse 1,11)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV where the Church is called to heaven in the twinkling of an eye through the phrase, Come up hither.

As previously stated, these signs that are to be fulfilled after we are gone are already transpiring. We see them before our eyes daily in world events.

Today’s “Bible Headlines” indicate that you and I will soon return with Jesus.

However, we must first go home via the Rapture in order to return soon.

Surely this momentous event is at the door! I think you know that the foregoing discussion of prophetic signs in relationship to the Rapture and the Revelation has given us a panoramic view of chapter 6.12)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6&version=KJV

Now let’s delve into this portion of God’s Word more deeply.

In chapters 6 through 18,13)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=KJV we witness firsthand the events which take place upon the earth during the Tribulation. The presentation occupies nearly two-thirds of the Book of Revelation-a total of thirteen chapters.

One should also note that three additional Bible verses graphically describe this hour of horrendous judgment:

(1) Jeremiah 30:7: Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it; 

(2) Daniel 12:1: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book; and

(3) Matthew 24:21: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

These texts inform us of the fact that the Tribulation will constitute earth’s bloodiest hour. There will not have been anything in past centuries to equal it, neither will there be any event in the future to match the judgment unleashed upon our planet.

The catastrophic calamities arrive through a series of twenty-one judgments which are described as seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls.

At the breaking of each seal, the blowing of each trumpet and the outpouring of each bowl, a new judgment is released.

The seal judgments are found in Revelation 6:1 through 8:1.14)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=KJV

The first six are located in chapter 6. Chapter 715)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C7&version=KJV is a parenthesis, and the seventh seal judgment takes place in chapter 8, verse 1.16)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A1&version=KJV


FIRST SEAL
verse 1 : [1] : And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the voice of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

At this command, the apostle sees the One who is worthy to take the book and open the seals thereof, the blessed Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, beginning the work of judgment.

Immediately John hears the noise of thunder-a sign of impending catastrophe-as well as one of the living creatures (angels) saying, Come and see

The words, come and see, are not in the original, just the word Come. It is a command given to the rider on the white horse, the infamous Antichrist. His time has arrived!

verse 1 : [2] : And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Satan has always tried to duplicate the works of God.

Back in the day of Moses, the demon-possessed magicians of Pharaoh were able to accomplish the same miracles as Aaron. This has always been Satan’s ploy. He is not the creator-God is. All he can do is imitate or fake the works of the Almighty.

This rider appears at the outset, or beginning, of the Tribulation period. There can be no such hour without him.

Since he is the master counterfeiter, who is he imitating? The answer is found in chapter 19, verses 11 through 16,17)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11-16&version=KJV which describe Christ’s return at the conclusion of the Tribulation.

The fake begins it and the Saviour ends it.

John says, And I saw heaven opened. This is the second time an opening appears in heaven (see Revelation 19:11)

To provide an exit for Christ and His bride as they return to earth.

As heaven is opened, John beholds a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

This is the coming of the true Christ.

Since our Christ is God, the Antichrist also proclaims himself as God.

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

We will study this hypocritical creep later. Presently let’s just skim the surface.

The Antichrist comes to power through an international peace pact (see Daniel 9:27). This is why the horse’s rider has a bow but no arrows.

The Antichrist conquers through diplomacy as a king, hence, the crown. In fact, when he takes control over the nations via a world government, power [is] given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (Revelation 13:7).

The Antichrist is rapidly followed by three additional riders of judgment. Together, these four horsemen of the apocalypse bring heartache upon the globe such as has never been experienced in the annals of history.

The Antichrist is called the Beast because of his character (chapter 13, verses 2 and 3),18)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A2%2C3&version=KJV because he ascends out of the abyss (chapter 17, verse 8)19)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+17%3A8&version=KJV and because he receives his power, his throne, and his authority from Satan (chapter 13, verse 2).20)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A2&version=KJV

The Antichrist’s ascendancy to world leadership signals the unleashing of the remaining twenty judgments.

The peace that was made by the first rider is broken by the one who mounts the red horse. This, of course, is in harmony with the first rider’s-or Antichrist’s-program. Daniel 9:27 outlines the peace package as well as its failure: And he [the Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.

When peace is confirmed, the Jews will feel at ease to conduct sacrifices without fear of war. However, in the midst of the week, or literally in the middle of the heptad, the contract is broken. The term heptad in the original means “seven years. As decade means “ten years” in English, so heptad means “seven years” in Greek.

Now we understand more fully why the Tribulation covers a timetable of seven years-simply because Daniel 9:27 states that the Antichrist will make his proposal for a heptadseven years-and then break it in the midst of the heptad, or after three and one-half years.

SECOND SEAL
verse 3 & 4 : [3 & 4]: And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. v4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

One of the nations that marches during this period of time is Red Russia. How interesting that a rider on a red horse takes peace from the earth!

Could Red Russia play such a major role during this hour?

In Ezekiel 38:2, the terms Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and

Rosh are mentioned in connection with a march to the Middle East for the battle of battles, before Armageddon.

Listen to the message God gave Ezekiel: Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him (Ezekiel 38:2).

Each of these names can be located within the present-day Russia.

Tobolsk, historically the eastern capital of Russia, is the ancient “Tubal” mentioned in the text. It is southwest of Siberia on modern maps-the place where U2 pilot Gary Powers was gunned down years ago.

Meshech is Moscow.

The historical names for Moscow begin with: Meshech,” then “Moshoch,” then “Moschi,” then “Moscoty,” then “Moscovy” and finally, Moscow. “Rosh” is Russia herself.

Thisgreat bearinvades Israel from the north: And thou shalt come up from thy place of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes (Ezekiel 38:15,16).

Russia is directly north of Israel and moves against her in the latter days (see Ezekiel 38:8).

The attack centers around the Holy Land. In fact, the name Israel is used eighteen times to identify the nation being invaded in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39.21)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%2C39&version=KJV Such information attests to the divine inspiration of the Bible, for there was no nation in modern history called Israel until 1948.

This war of the future undoubtedly occurs close to or during the Tribulation hour because the facts presented in this Book of Revelation tie in harmoniously with Ezekiel’s prophecy. In fact, the eighth and ninth22)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%2C9&version=KJV chapters contain two unusual predictions concerning the woes of the Tribulation hour which point to such a mid-East war. Chapter 8, verse 7,23)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A+7&version=KJV mentions the burning of one-third of the earth as the first angel sounded.

I quote: The first angel sounded, And there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. 

In turn, Revelation 9:18 depicts the extinction of one-third of the world’s inhabitants, for, by these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

The Life Pictorial Atlas, which lists land areas and population figures for every country of the world, contains shocking proof that these prophecies and astronomical figures are capable of being fulfilled at the present time.

According to this statistical survey, Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America incorporate a total of 56,889,581 square miles.

Dividing this figure by three, one arrives at the sum of 18,963,194 square miles-the amount of land area that will burn during the Tribulation period according to Revelation 8:7.

Comparing this figure with the combined land areas of the nations predicted to align themselves for the Middle East confrontations [Daniel chapters 2, 7 and 11,24)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+2%3B7%3B11&version=KJV and Ezekiel 38 and 39]25)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%2C39&version=KJV, one discovers that the two sums are identical-one-third of the globe to the exact mile, believe it or not! Is this startling? 

Let’s go one step further.

The Atlas also lists the population figures for the nations of earth.

The same alignment of pro- and anti-Russian nations for the war of wars totals one-third of earth’s inhabitants! Revelation 8:7 and Revelation 9:18 could become factual events, fulfilling verse 426)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A4&version=KJV very, very soon!

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published Feb 26, 2014 | Re Published February 15, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6
2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=ESV
3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+13&version=ESV
4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+17&version=ESV
5. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21&version=ESV
6. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=ESV
7. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A10-11&version=ESV
8. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=ESV
9. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A2&version=ESV
10. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11&version=KJV
11. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV
12. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6&version=KJV
13, 14. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=KJV
15. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C7&version=KJV
16. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A1&version=KJV
17. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11-16&version=KJV
18. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A2%2C3&version=KJV
19. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+17%3A8&version=KJV
20. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A2&version=KJV
21, 25. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%2C39&version=KJV
22. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%2C9&version=KJV
23. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A+7&version=KJV
24. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+2%3B7%3B11&version=KJV
26. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A4&version=KJV

06.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 5: vs. 1 – 14

Revelation (the Book) feature

Here is an important statement to consider: Bible chapters and verses came into existence 500 years ago. 

They are not inspired, but greatly assist one in finding texts. Sometimes, however, they break the continuity of a study.

Such is the case at this point. 

Because John continues describing the heavenly scene, there should not have been a break between chapters 4 and 5.

verse 1 : [1]: And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

The book:

In the right hand of the Lord Jesus Christ is actually a scroll of either sheepskin, papyrus, or vellum.

Its subject is redemption, and its contents unlock the remainder of this chapter. The message is contained on the inside and outside, and is enclosed by seven seals.

verse 2 : [2] : And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

The search for a member of the human race, past or present, or any rank of angel to open the book proves fruitless.

None is worthy!
verse 3 : [3] : And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
John is heartbroken!
verse 4 : [4]: And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
John’s lament has to do with the fact that this scroll is also the title deed to the earth. As long as it remains sealed, Satan will be in complete control of the planet.
verse 5 : [5] : And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof

John’s weeping ends at the place where all tears are dried. 

He is pointed to Christ where tears are turned to joy. Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.

Since Judah is the leading tribe of Israel and a lion is the king of the beasts, Christ is thus pictured when He comes as Israel’s King (see chapter 19, verse 16).1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A16&version=KJV

It is at this same moment that the

Lord God gives unto him the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32).

Let’s go further in proving that our Saviour is the One John sees.

verse 6 : [6] : And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

As mentioned previously, the seven-sealed scroll is the title deed to the earth and its subject is redemption. The Lamb of God (John 1:29), who earned the right by redemption to the title deed of the earth, is the only One worthy to open the seals. This is the Lamb who died for you and for me. Yes, Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3).

He shed His precious blood to purchase our redemption, for the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

John, who recorded the fact that Jesus was the Lamb of God when He walked upon the earth, now says that no one can overcome but by the blood of the Lamb (chapter 12, verse 11).2)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+12%3A11&version=KJV

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

There is no other way! Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sins (see Hebrews 9:22).

This Lamb is worthy because of the sacrifice He paid for your sin and mine. Yes, worthy is the Lamb to be praised for time and eternity.

The Lamb’s seven horns picture strength.

Jesus said,

All [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18).

The seven eyes picture the fact that He sees everything each of us does: 

All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

Since “seven” means perfection.

There will be no mistakes made as the judgment is meted out, because the seven spirits of God-a picture of the Holy Spirit in all of His fullness-rest upon Christ without measure.

Coupling His power (seven horns), His all-seeing vision (seven eyes), along with His filling of the Spirit of God in a sevenfold way (see Isaiah 11:1, 2), not one mistake will be made during the Tribulation hour.

The One found worthy now acts.

verse 7 & 8 : [7 & 8] : And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. v8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
The twenty-four elders, representatives of all of God’s saved people, share in this glorious moment. The praise is so spectacular that the redeemed break out in song. What a heavenly choir-the largest ever assembled! Listen to them!
verse 9 & 10 : [9 & 10]: And they [sang] a new song, saying thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people, and nation; v10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

The song is in appreciation of the fact that Christ was slain on Calvary’s cross, that His precious blood was shed (see 1 Peter 1:19), and that it was shed for the entire world. This includes Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, and Baptists. Some Christians think they are going to have their own little corner, all alone, in heaven.

Not so! Christ’s sacrifice was for all kindreds, all tongues, and all people, all nations. God loves the world! The choir also sings about their soon return with Him when He comes as King of kings (chapter 19, verse 11).3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11&version=KJV At that time they-the armies of heaven-will follow Him upon white horses. At this point the angels also join in praising the Lamb…

verse 11 & 12 : [11 & 12] : And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beast and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. v12 Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing.

Notice that this passage is not a song.

Nowhere does the Bible teach that angels sing. They recite their praise, whereas the Church Triumphant sings her glorious message.

The angels, associated with the Lord since their creation, know Him as few know Him-for they have lived with Him for thousands of years.

They praise the Lamb for seven reasons:

(1) His power.

(2) His spiritual riches.

(3) His wisdom.

(4) His might.

(5) His honor.

(6) His glory.

(7) His blessing.

Carnal Christians who will not bow in worship to Christ here on earth, soon will!

verse 13 : [13]: And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

At this point Philippians 2:9-11 will be fulfilled:

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What is the response as the heavenly hosts envision this future hour?

verse 14 : [14] : And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Notice they get a head start. They cannot wait to begin their worship of the Lamb-the Lord Jesus Christ!

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published: Feb 19, 2014 | Re Published: February 8, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A16&version=KJV
2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+12%3A11&version=KJV
3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11&version=KJV

05.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 4: vs. 1 – 11

Revelation (the Book) feature

Chapter four of Revelation begins the prophetical future. 

Remember chapter 1, verse 191)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1%3A19&version=KJV:

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.

That text presented three tenses and informed us that the Book of Revelation is written in chronological order: the past- chapter 12)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1&version=KJV; the present-chapters 23)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+2&version=KJV and 34)https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+3&version=KJV (the history of the seven churches to the present time); and the future-chapters 4 through 22.

Now let’s take a peek at what’s coming.

verse 1 : [1]: After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither; and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

John states, “After this.After what?

After the completion of the history of the seven churches. After this, John sees a door opened in heaven and hears a trumpet-like voice loudly and victoriously crying, Come up hither.

This is the Rapture of the church of Jesus Christ. When it occurs, multitudes from all kindreds, people, tongues, and denominations will meet the Saviour face to face.

What is the Rapture? <

It is the literal, visible bodily coming of Jesus Christ to call out of this world, literally and bodily, every born-again believer-first the dead, then the living.

First we see that Jesus is coming bodily

Remember the cultists of bygone days who said that the Lord was about to return? Clothed in white sheets, they sat on the mountainsides in anxious anticipation-but Christ didn’t come.

Date-setting is wrong! 

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36).

Because of their embarrassment, these cultists immediately stated, “Oh, we were right; Christ did come, but it was an invisible manifestation. He came as a spirit.” Not so!

When Jesus Christ returns, both in the Rapture (chapter 4) and at His Revelation (chapter 19), He will come literally, visibly and bodily.

Proof?

Acts 1:9-11: And when [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. The Lord will return exactly as He left.

How did He leave? 

Let’s see.

In Luke 24:39, Christ appeared to His disciples and said, Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Then, in verses 41 and 42, He went on to say Have ye here any meat [food]? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.

The Lord Jesus Christ possessed a new resurrected body-a body that could be seen, a body that could be touched, and a body that could partake of food-a literal body!

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above [or over] five hundred brethren at once..after that, he was seen of James…and last of all he was seen of me [Paul] also (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). No doubt about it, when He returns and the shout, Come up hither, is given, we will see Him.

At this glorious moment, we, too, shall receive new bodies.

The Bible teaches in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Notice that the dead in Christ shall rise first.

(Perhaps this is because they have six feet further to rise-to the level of the living. Ha!)

Then all of us together are caught up into the heavenlies to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the twinkling of an eye.

You don’t believe it?

Then listen! Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [the living] shall be changed.

Watch it. For this corruptible [the dead in Christ] … must put on incorruption, and this mortal [the living in Christ] must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

How fast is the twinkling of an eye? 

Close your eyes for a moment. Open them. That’s it! General Electric Company tells us that the twinkling of an eye is eleven one-hundredths of a second.

Just that quickly, at that blessed moment, we shall be changed to be like Jesus. David said, I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness (Psalm 17:15). John adds that when we see Jesus, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2). Then Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, states: [He] shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body (Philippians 3:21). This, then, is the Rapture.

Some Christians say they do not believe in the term rapture. 

They argue that one cannot find the word rapture in the Bible. Interestingly, one cannot find the term Bible in the Bible either, but I’m holding one!

Listen carefully:

The word rapture, in English, comes from the Latin, rapiemur which means “a snatching away.” We have just learned from God’s Word that all Christians, living and dead; are going to be snatched away in the twinkling of an eye, so whether one knows it or not, one believes in the Rapture.

The Bible also clearly teaches that there is a difference between the Rapture and the Revelation of Christ.

We need to fully understand this truth because it is the basis for understanding the Book of Revelation, prophetical truth, and the placement of signs.

Simply stated, there are two aspects, or stages, in the process of Christ’s second coming, and both begin with the letter “r.”

We have already designated the first phase as the Rapture.

The second phase is called the Revelation. 

Chapter 45)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV describes phase one, while phase two is described in chapter 19.6)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19&version=KJV The intervening chapters – 6 through 187)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJV – basically cover a seven-year period called the Tribulation.

The Rapture (chapter 4)8)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV precedes the Tribulation, and the Revelation (chapter 19)9)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19&version=KJV follows the seven-year period of judgment. Chapter 410)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV is a meeting in the air, whereas chapter 1911)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19&version=KJV is a return to the earth. Chapter 412)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV removes the believer from the judgments described in chapters 6 through 18,13)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJV and chapter 1914)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19&version=KJV restores the believer to his earthly sojourn as he returns with Christ to planet earth.

The Come up hither of Revelation 4:1 is synonymous with the call of 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17:<

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Immediately following this event, the inhabitants of planet earth experience seven years of incomparable judgment. This judgment ends with the Battle of Armageddon, at which time the door of heaven is again opened (see chapter 19, verses 11 through 16)15)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11-16&version=KJV in order that the believer may exit heaven with Christ for the return trip to earth.

This return of Christ with His saints is called the Revelation, and comes from the word revealing. At that time the Lord will reveal himself to all humanity, so why not call this event the revealing, or revelation, of Christ? Let’s not quibble about the labels concerning the Rapture and the Revelation. The truths are there; believe them! The labels only help one organize the teaching systematically.

The question often arises, 

Will the church of Jesus Christ be on earth during the Tribulation hour?

The answer is an emphatic, “NO!”

The Church is mentioned sixteen times in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation, but is not found in chapters 6 through 1816)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJV -the Tribulation period.

Why?

First of all, the Tribulation is Israel’s time of suffering. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:7).

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people [Israel]: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people [Israelites] shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (Daniel 12:1).

Secondly, the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel’s prophecy involved Israel. Why wouldn’t the seventieth week?

The Bible is plain:  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people [Israelites] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem] (Daniel 9:24). That is why the signs in Matthew 24,17)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=KJV Mark 13,18)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+13&version=KJV and Luke 1719)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+17&version=KJV and Luke 2120)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21&version=KJV have to do with Israel and the Middle East.Thirdly, during the Tribulation hour, the people involved are instructed to pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day (Matthew 24:20). Israel is eternally identified with the Sabbath day (see Ezekiel 20: 12, 20).Fourthly, when Christ returns to Jerusalem (see Zechariah 14:4), all the tribes of the earth mourn (see Matthew 24:30). The mourners are the twelve tribes of Israel, numbering hundreds of thousands of individuals who were brought to repentance by the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish representatives from each of the twelve tribes (12,000 per tribe).

Finally, the persons experiencing the woes of the Tribulation Hour are never called “a synagogue,” but rather the church (Acts 2:47).

As already stated, the Church cannot be found in Revelation 6 through 18,21)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJV the portion of the book describing the horrible Tribulation hour. Israel, however, is seen in the midst of the holocaust (see Revelation 12:1-13).

This correlates with the elect of Matthew 24:22.

Jesus said,

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

This elect group is not the Church but Israel, for God has two elect groups upon earth-the Church and Israel.

First, let’s look at the Church. 

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Ephesians 1:4).

This chosen group is called the elect in 1 Peter 1:2. However, the Church, the bride of Christ, elected to be His sweetheart and wife for all eternity, is not in view in Matthew 24:22

Instead, this text has Israel, the wife of Jehovah, in mind.

What?

How can that be?

Where was Israel chosen?

God said, 

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:2, 3

In Deuteronomy 7:7, 8 the Israelites were again reminded of their elect status: The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers… [He chose you]. 

This oath that chooses Israel as an elect group of people has never been abrogated: For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance-or without change of mind (Romans 11:29).Because of God’s unchanging covenant or oath, Romans 11:26-28 declares, And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.., as touching the election (the elect), they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

When God chose Israel as His elect wife,He chose her forever because the calling of God is without change of mind. Though Jehovah’s spouse has often committed spiritual adultery by turning to iniquity and idolatry, still Jehovah loves her because God abides faithful.

There is no doubt about it, Israel is the elect group mentioned in the Gospels for whom the days of judgment will be shortened. Israelites are the ones who will pray that their flight for safety will not be on the Sabbath (their day of worship); who will suffer persecution in their own synagogues (only Jews meet in synagogues); and who have the name of Jacob, and who will experience Jacob’s time of trouble (see Jeremiah 30:7), for Jacob is Israel (see Romans 11:26).Hence, a period of seventy weeks is determined upon Israel (see Daniel 9:24). The nation of Israel has seen Jerusalem compassed [about] with armies (Luke 21:20), and will again observe the armies of the world poised against Jerusalem for the final war as God gathers all nations against Jerusalem to battle (Zechariah 14:2).

This definitely is not the Church. 

All Christians slipped out through the open door in the fourth chapter before the judgments of heaven and earth began to be unleashed in the sixth chapter. They were evacuated when the shout, Come up hither, was given.

There are those who say that Revelation 4:1 is an exclusive picture of John the Beloved in a vision, being caught away in the presence of God. Therefore, they reason, this has nothing to do with anyone else, including the Church.

verse 2 : [2] : And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Again, as in chapter 1, verse 10,27)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1-10&version=KJV the Holy Spirit takes complete control of John in order to give him the most glorious vision in all time or eternity-the Lord Jesus Christ upon His throne.Most of us have not personally met many kings, queens, or presidents, but such introductions will become absolutely meaningless when we see Jesus in His majestic splendor. Praise God, that day will soon be here. We are going home imminently. Amen and amen!
verse 3 : [3]: And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
Here we see a comparison of Christ with two precious stones-the jasper and the sardine. The jasper is clear as crystal (chapter 21, verse 11)28)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A11&version=KJV and is likened to the light of the holy Jerusalem which comes from the glory of God (chapter 21, verse 23).29)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A23&version=KJVImagine; glory is that which first strikes our eyes as we see the Lord Jesus Christ. The sardine is red, the color of fire. This undoubtedly speaks of the righteous wrath of God and the judgment that is to fall in chapters 6 through 18.30)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJVThe rainbow, resembling an emerald, proves that the impending judgment will not come through a flood (because of God’s promise to Noah in Genesis 9:13), but that it will be a holocaust of fire. After describing the throne and its occupant, John indicates the presence of another group situated in the very presence of the Lord…

verse 4 : [4]: And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
These are not angels, for elders always depict members of the human race.

What members? The redeemed. 

They are also in resurrection bodies, as is the Lord, for they sit down. An immaterial spirit cannot sit. A material body is necessary in order to sit on a material throne. Christ possesses such a new glorified body (see Luke 24:39), and when we see Jesus we shall be like him (1 John 3:2).

The elders are also clothed in white raiment. One could not put a coat on a spirit very readily, for it would continually fall to the floor!

The Book of Revelation cannot be spiritualized. 

These are real people! In fact, since the Judgment Seat took place immediately after the Come up hither of verse 1,31)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV these individuals are already wearing the crowns which they will place at the Master’s feet in verse 11.32)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A11&version=KJV

Who are these twenty-four elders? 

Some believe they represent the twenty-four groups or orders within the Levitical priesthood.

This, in turn, represents all believers in Christ for, through Him as High Priest, every Christian is a member of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).

Others believe the twenty-four elders represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles for a total of twenty-four. In other words, they say the elders represent God’s people of all ages.

This is a good possibility since Revelation 21 describes the New Jerusalem, the names of the twelve tribes inscribed on the gates, and the names of the twelve apostles found upon the twelve foundations (see verses 12-14).

Regardless of the view one holds, the four and twenty elders represent the children of God in the presence of the Lord, before the horrible Tribulation begins in chapter 6. A preview of the judgment about to be unleashed upon the entire globe is found in the following verse.

verse 5 : [5]: And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.
Lightning, thunder, and voices speak of judgment.

Rumblings resound through the heavens as the saints are informed of what is about to occur on earth.

The present hour is so late, prophetically speaking, that this very scene could happen soon.

We may go home momentarily to become the very participants around the throne! Jesus is coming and His appearing is at the door (see Matthew 24:33).

But wait!

The seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God, picture the Holy Spirit in all His perfection, for seven always denotes flawlessness in the Bible. (Note the seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:2.)

This blessed Holy Spirit is also involved in the impending judgment.

Each member of the Trinity is righteously indignant over earth’s inundation with wickedness and participates unitedly in the twenty-one seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments which occur in chapters 6 through 18.33)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJV

verse 6 : [6]: And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Although thunderous judgment will soon be released upon earth, perfect peace surrounds God’s throne. The glassy sea pictures calmness, a sea untroubled by winds and storms.This is the Church at rest in heaven before the storm occurs upon earth. Hallelujah!
verse 7 : [7]: And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
verse 8 : [8] : And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
These verses are symbolic. 

Always take every word of the Bible literally unless God specifically indicates that it is figurative.

In these texts we find the words, “like a” and “as a,” expressing symbolism.

The term beast is Zoon in the Greek, and means “a living creature.

These are literal, created beings. 

At this point, the symbolic and figurative expressions depict their strength and knowledge. Thus, they have eyes before and behind to see all things clearly and accurately.

By comparing the characteristics of these living creatures with Isaiah 6:1-3, we see they are undoubtedly seraphim-angels of God-created to praise, exalt, and adulate the Lord.

These beings are not monstrosities. Instead, they are a picture of beauty. 

Within each species there is always a leader-the lion among wild beasts, the calf among domestic animals, the eagle among birds, and man among all creatures.

This is the portrait set before us-angels in all their magnificence praising the Lord, saying,

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

This threefold adulation of holiness is for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-the three in One (see 1 John 5:7).

The description-which was, and is, and is to come-is the title of the Father (chapter 1, verse 4), the Son (verse 5), and also the Holy Spirit who always was, and is, and is to come, for the Trinity works unitedly.

The praising of God by these living creatures is contagious and the entire group of God’s people, pictured by the twenty-four elders, joins them.

verse 9 : [9] : And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
verse 10 : [10] : The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
verse 11 : [11]: Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
This is one of the most glorious moments in heaven. 

The crowned saints lay their rewards at the feet of Jesus. They lay aside their rewarded glory to add to His glory, thereby ascribing all glory to Him.

They know that their victories came only because of His power working within them. The praise session is concluded with the words,

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Imagine; both the angels and the elders praise God for creating them!

This proves there will be no evolutionists in heaven. 

Instead, they will join with Darwin in singing songs about their ancestors-the monkeys-in a place where air-conditioning does not exist.

Jesus is coming!

Prepare!

Be with the blessed host when the greatest praise festival in the entire universe and heaven occurs

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published: Feb 16, 2014 | Re Published: February 1, 2016
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References   [ + ]

1. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1%3A19&version=KJV
2. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1&version=KJV
3. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+2&version=KJV
4. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+3&version=KJV
5, 8, 10, 12. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4&version=KJV
6, 9, 11, 14. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19&version=KJV
7, 13, 16, 21, 26, 30, 33. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6-18&version=KJV
15. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11-16&version=KJV
17. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=KJV
18. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+13&version=KJV
19. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+17&version=KJV
20. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21&version=KJV
22. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A10&version=KJV
23. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A10-11&version=KJV
24, 31. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV
25. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4-5&version=KJV
27. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1-10&version=KJV
28. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A11&version=KJV
29. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21%3A23&version=KJV
32. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A11&version=KJV

04.0 The Book of Revelation: Chapter 3: vs. 1 – 22

Revelation (the Book) feature

The fifth letter, written to the local church in Sardis, is also from the Saviour, for Christ has the seven stars in His right hand in Chapter 1, verse 16. Again, the Saviour begins by commending Sardis for her works.

Sardis

verse 1 : [1] : And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; these things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Sardis began in 1520 A.D., and undoubtedly extends, historically, into the Tribulation.

This period of time covers the Reformation (with its dead, lukewarm churches) and is presently part of the Laodicean period as well.

The reason for the deadness is that, during the Reformation, entire countries became Protestant without being born again. Protestantism was made the state religion, and was freely embraced by millions who did not know what it meant to become new creations in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Thus, Sardis became the mother of dead orthodoxy. Her theme song was not “Standing on the Promises,” but “Sleeping on the Premises” – her members were dead! God help us to have life!

Hundreds of churches follow Sardis’s lead today.

This is the reason millions are leaving liberal churches for good, old-fashioned, gospel-preaching lighthouses. Immediately, God called for a fivefold revival package.

verse 2 : [2] : Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
verse 3 : [3] : Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Sardis was admonished to:

(1) Be watchful or alert: 

Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep… (Romans 13:11)

(2) Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: 

Her people were to do everything possible to salvage the little good that still remained in their bastion of dead orthodoxy;

(3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard: 

The Sardis Christians were commanded to recall the former days-the early days of their salvation when they were filled with purity and zeal;

(4) Hold fast: 

They were to retain the simple truth of the gospel and discard the excess baggage of ecclesiastical pomp and ceremony; and

(5) Repent: 

They were to change their minds. 

Christ’s call was not for personal repentance but for the entire church, yea, the entire movement, to change. The Reformation churches needed to turn back to Christ, seeking His will and His Spirit’s teachings rather than man-made ideas about theological truth.

One of the areas of truth the Reformation churches failed to proclaim was the return of Christ. 

Therefore, the Lord said that this event would catch them unawares: Thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 

No wonder many of the present-day offspring of the Reformation have ministers who say, “No one can understand the Book of Revelation. It is a deep, mysterious, symbolical, figurative book.”

Baloney! Preacher, layman, you are the one Christ had in mind. Awake thou that sleepest… and Christ shall [raise you from the dead] (spiritually speaking).

In the midst of this deadness, Sardis had a few who could still wiggle, spiritually.

verse 4 : [4]: Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Though the Reformation churches, like the mother out of whom they came, did not practice holiness unto the Lord, there were individuals who did not defile their garments in compromise with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

They came out from among them, and [touched] not the unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17). As a result, they were promised the reward of being clothed in white garments, as stated in the latter part of verse 4 and in verse 5:

verse 5 : [5] : He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but 1 will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

This white raiment is found upon the bride of Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb:

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints (Revelation 19:7, 8). In addition, those who possess a genuine salvation experience will remain in the book of life eternally.

What security!

Christ says,

I will not blot out his namebefore my Father, and before his angels.

verse 1 : [6] : He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Make sure YOUR experience is real!

Philadelphia

Let’s progress to the next church. The sixth letter is written to the church of Philadelphia and covers historically the years from 1750 until the Rapture.
verse 7 : [7]: And to the angel [or messenger] of the church of Philadelphia write these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Once again the message is from the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, instead of gleaning a picture from chapter 1, as we have in the past, we are now given a new and beautiful fourfold description of the Lord:

(1) He that is holy:

One finds this description of Christ in Hebrews 7:26

(2) He that is true:

Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life… (John 14:6)

(3) He that hath the key of David:

Jesus again said, I am the root and the offspring of David (chapter 22, verse 16); and

(4) He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.

Christ is not only the One who opens the door, but He is the door (John 10:9). Christ’s commendation is presented to the local church of Philadelphia in verses 8-10:

verse 8 : [8]: I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and /tact not denied my name.
verse 9 : [9] : Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
verse 10 : [10] : Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

We immediately realize from this text that the church of Philadelphia is loaded with good works.

The open door speaks of missions, and the church covering this era of time undoubtedly has done, and is doing, more than any other group ever attempted to do in the annals of history.

Thank God for such vision! Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).

Although this group does so much, they are still a minority, for [they had] a little strength.

One of their great strengths was that they kept His name. Since the church of Philadelphia extends into our twenty-first century and even to the point of the Rapture, the command for each of us today is that we never deny His name, for if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12). Oh, the tremendous loss some will experience at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Christ also promises these faithful brethren

That the members of the synagogue of Satan (false professors of religion as described in chapter 2, verse 9) will be forced to bow and worship the Lord God Almighty, willfully or unwillfully, at a future time (chapter 3, verse 9).

This could be at the Judgment Day, for Paul informed the children of God that they would share with Christ in judgment.

Hear him: Do ye not know that the saints will judge the world? (1 Corinthians 6:2).

Christ himself spoke of that time when He stated: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (Romans 14:11).

Finally, because of their love for Christ, 

The Philadelphia-era believers are promised exemption from the day of the Lord’s wrath, or the Great Tribulation hour: I… will keep thee from the hour of temptation (chapter 3, verse 10).

In the Greek, the word from is ek, meaning “out of.” God promises to keep the Philadelphia believers “out of“-not “through” (preservation), but “out of‘ (evacuation) the Tribulation.

Thus, the Church will be gone when the terrible hour of Tribulation judgment comes upon all the world to try the earth dwellers. Praise God, “This world is not my home, I’m only passing through.” We believers are not earth dwellers, for our citizenship is in heaven (see Philippians 3:20). In the light of the coming of Christ, an admonition is given in the next verse.

verse 11 : [11] : Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Here the Christian is warned to be faithful, lest all rewards (not salvation, but rewards) be lost-even the loss of one’s crown.

The promise of verse 12 is to those who are faithful.

verse 12 : [12]: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Three blessings are mentioned for the faithful:

(1) They become pillars in the temple of God.

(2) They have the name of God written upon them. 

Thus identifying them and allowing them access into the city of God-the New Jerusalem described in Revelation 21 and 22; and

(3) They have the new name written upon them.

The name of God allows them to enter the Holy City, but the new name of Christ entitles them to be His servants, where they shall see His face (chapter 22, verses 3 and 4). Because the future blessings are so wonderful, the admonition continues.

verse 13 : [13] : He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.

Laodicea

The seventh and final letter is to the local church of Laodicea, which covers the years from 1900 to the Tribulation Hour. The message, as in all previous letters, is from the Lord Jesus Christ.

verse 1 : [14] : And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God,

This threefold description of the Saviour includes:

(1) the Amen.

In Hebrew, this word means “true.” The complete meaning is “truth in its finality,” which pictures Christ as the final truth;

(2) the faithful and true witness.

This statement links Christ to chapter 1, verse 5, where He is called true, and

(3) the beginning of the creation of God. 

Since the Lord is the firstborn of all creation (see Colossians 1:15), we again recognize Him as the speaker.

verse 15 : [15]: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

The Laodicean church also has works, but her service is rendered in a lukewarm fashion. 

What a picture of the present age! Some of our churches are so cold that signs above the doors could advertise these religious refrigerators as, “First Church of the Deep Freeze, pastored by Dr. Jack Frost.

The situation is so drastic that, whereas parishioners used to quote the verse, “Many are called but few are chosen,” they now think the “New Reversed Version” states, “Many are cold and a few are frozen!”

God alone knows how serious the present situation literally is.

verse 16 : [16]: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

The condition of the Laodicean church makes God so violently ill that He wants to spue this group out of His mouth.

The Greek word is emeo, from which we get the word emetic. An emetic is given to one who has swallowed poison in order to make him regurgitate.

Think of that! A lukewarm church is an emetic to Christ. But what’s the reason for this lukewarmness, coldness, indifference, and carnality?

 

verse 17 : [17] : Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

The Laodicean era is a highly prosperous one. 

As a result, her people have erected elaborate church structures worth millions of dollars. (Stop a moment and consider the money presently being invested in buildings used one to three hours weekly.)

Laodicean pastors often attack the “electronic church” ministries. The command of Jesus is, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).

However, the “electronic church” ministers are simply obeying the Saviour. God help each of us to see that although buildings are necessary for worship and service, they should be humble edifices rather than the latest multi-million dollar architectural monstrosities which glorify men.

God tells the Laodiceans that they are really wretched and miserable, poor (spiritually, though rich materially), blind, and naked. 

This is true because riches usually make one wretched and miserable. One spends forty years accumulating his wealth and the final thirty years keeping others from getting it.

The Laodiceans are also blind because they cannot see the need of the millions who are dying without the Saviour and going into eternal loss.

Because of this fact, they are naked both now and in eternity, for they are not clothed with Christ’s robe of righteousness (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). His plea to them is…

verse 18 : [18] : I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Christ instructs the Laodiceans to:

(1) Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. 

This probably refers to 1 Peter 1:7, where the trial of [our] faith [is] …more than of gold.

(2) Buy white raiment

Undoubtedly, the reference is to the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness mentioned in Isaiah 61:10.

(3) Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 

This speaks of illumination which only the saved share: 

The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Because of the conditions prevalent in the Laodicean church, the Lord states…

verse 19 : [19]: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

This message reminds us of Hebrews 12:6, which states: Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 

Spiritual spankings are administered in order that we might be zealous and repent, or “change our minds.” He continues…

verse 20 : [20]: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

This verse is actually a picture of Christ standing outside the door of the latter-day church rather than the heart of an individual, as we so often hear stated. 

Presently, entire churches and denominations are barring the Saviour’s entrance.

Unbelievable! However, those who listen to His appeal; open the door, and follow Jesus will not be sorry.

verse 21 : [21]: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Finally, one last time, the Lord proclaims the warning…
verse 22 : [22]: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

First Published: Feb 11, 2014 | Re Published: January 25, 2016
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